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Yiddish attracts a wide range of Jews and non-Jews alike, and for a variety of reasons—religion (it’s still the spoken language for most frum Ashkenazim), politics (a language and culture that affirms Ashkenazi Jews’ rootedness in Europe and the diaspora, rather than in Israel), culture and history (despite the past half-century’s renaissance in Yiddish scholarship, there’s still so, so much more left to study and explore), and much more. And although I didn’t know it when I applied to YIVO’s summer program, there’s a similarly wide a range of Yiddish programs in existence today for the nascent Yiddishist.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2016