Yiddish-Lovers Go to Camp

September 18, 2009

Source: The New Jersey Jewish Standard


During the last week of August, 2009, 170 men, women and youngsters gathered at the Berkshire Hills Emanuel Adult Vacation Center in upstate NY, for a week of Yiddish camping. The Yidish-Vokh  (Yiddish Week),  sponsored by the Yugntruf – Youth for Yiddish organization for more than thirty years, continues to attract Yiddish lovers looking for true Yiddish immersion experience. The heterogeneous group of campers enjoyed lectures, sports, folk dancing, discussions, singing around the campfire, reading groups, an amateur talent show, concerts, films, and special events all in Yiddish. Some participated in the Yiddish classes for advanced beginners.


Some of the campers are elders who have been coming to Yidish-Vokh for decades. Others are college students or teenagers who are relative newcomers who have come to improve their Yiddish and build community. The pluralistic atmosphere appeals to Jews of all sorts.


The food at Yidish-Vokh is kosher, with vegetarian options; an Orthodox mashgiakh oversees all meals througout the week. Egalitarian-Conservative and Orthodox Shabes services are also available along with secular activities on Saturday morning.


Yidish-Vokh is a genuine community of Yiddish speakers, students, professors, activists, writers, and musicians. The Yugntruf members give the lectures, perform, and lead the discussions and workshops so that they can share their knowledge, talent, and love of "mame-loshn". It’s an experience hard to find anywhere else.

Updated: Oct. 11, 2009