Agnieszka Ilwicka started learning Yiddish as an undergraduate at the University of Wroclaw, Poland, and she has continued her study of the language in Vilnius, Paris, London, and New York. As head of the student academic association “Shnirele Perele”, Agnieszka organized expeditions to Lublin, Warsaw, Łódź, Galicja, and a shtetl near Lubelszczyzna, as well as to Jewish Prague and Moravia.
Currently Agnieszka is working on her master’s degree in Polish philology and history, specializing in Jewish studies, at the University of Wroclaw. Her thesis is a biography of Jacob Egit, the chairman of the Jewish Community of Lower Silesia from 1945-1950. Agnieszka is also a student in Jewish Studies at the University of Southampton, England, where she has worked with the archive of Yiddish manuscripts in the Hartley Library and with the Yiddish Book Collection of University College in London. In addition to her native Polish, Agnieszka has advanced level English, German, and Yiddish and basic Greek and Hebrew.
Jordan Kutzik was a Yiddish Book Center Fellow in 2011-2012, and he will be staying on for a second year. During his first year as a Fellow, Jordan has worked primarily with the Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library, a collaborative venture with the Montreal Jewish Public Library. Jordan has overseen the digitization of the JPL’s unique collection of Yiddish audio books and cultural programs, thousands of hours of recordings of texts read by native Yiddish speakers as well as lectures and interviews with leading literary figures of the mid-twentieth century.
Jordan graduated from Rutgers University with a double major in Jewish studies and Spanish translation and completed an undergraduate thesis on American Hasidic Yiddish pedagogical materials for children. Jordan studied Yiddish at Rutgers and in Vilnius, and spent a semester at the University of Valencia, Spain. A committed cultural activist, Jordan created the YouTube channel “ikhveysnit” with more than 100 original films in Yiddish with English subtitles, including tours of Vilnius led by former Jewish Partisans and interviews with young Yiddish speakers.
Jessica Parker holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University in Ontario, with a double specialization in Jewish studies and museum studies, a program that she tailored to her professional interests in Jewish communal work. Jessica conducted her master’s research on representations of Israel in the permanent exhibition of the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv, where she did graduate fieldwork and an undergraduate internship. She has also worked at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Queen's University Art Centre, and volunteered at a Jewish museum in Toronto.
Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Toronto with minors in linguistics and French. She is proficient in both French and Hebrew, and completed the beginning Yiddish course in the Steiner Summer Program at the Yiddish Book Center. At the conclusion of the Steiner Program, Jessica was awarded a Discovery Fellowship to do an oral history project with South African Jews living in Kingston, Ontario. Jessica has extensive experience with educational and cultural programming for youth and young adults.
Allison Posner is completing her master’s degree in comparative literature at Indiana University, where she holds a Yiddish Graduate Fellowship from Borns Jewish Studies Program. Allison has taught classes in composition and world literature, and worked as a volunteer translator of Yiddish interviews collected in Eastern Europe for the AHEYM project (Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories). Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Cornell University, and she studied for one semester at the University of Paris, France.
An alumna of the Steiner Summer Program at the Yiddish Book Center, Allison has also studied Yiddish at Columbia University and in Warsaw and Vilnius. Among her most rewarding encounters with Yiddish has been her informal “study” at Moishe’s Kosher Bakery on the Lower East Side, where Allison says she has connected with a generation of Yiddish speakers who are just as curious about her future with Yiddish as she is about their past with the language. Allison also has worked in theater and film production, and has volunteered with non-profits serving elders and at-risk youth.