Get Involved

The Wexler Oral History Project offers volunteer positions as well as internships for college students and recent graduates.

There are several ways to be a part of the Wexler Oral History Project. Opportunities include:

• Internships

We offer internships for college students and recent graduates during the academic year and summers. Interns work at the Yiddish Book Center, adjacent to the Hampshire College campus, eight to twelve hours per week during the academic year or more during the summer.

The internship has several tracks: a technical track, a cultural-content track, and a Yiddish-language track.

Technical interns edit and upload video footage of interviews. Cultural-content interns time-code full-length interviews, identify interesting clips, and curate video material for our online archive. Applicants with strong backgrounds in both film editing and Jewish history and culture can work on both the cultural and technical aspects of the project. Yiddish-language interns work on processing, translating, and subtitling interviews that are conducted in Yiddish. All interns work closely with the Project's technical assistant and director.

Technical Intern

Job Description:

  • Edit, prepare, export, and upload full interviews and excerpts using Final Cut Pro (professional video editing program)
  • Prepare DVD versions of interviews
  • Scan and process artifacts
  • Track interviews and post-interview processing in the project’s customized FileMaker Pro database

Requirements:

  • Video editing experience, preferably on Final Cut Pro 7
  • Comfort with technology
  • Interest in learning new software/applications
  • Interest in oral history/ethnography/Jewish culture
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Ability to update and maintain integrated tracking system for a complex workflow and expansive project
  • Ability to work independently, with low-level supervision

Cultural-content Intern

Job Description:

  • Create interview logs for oral history interviews
  • Identify great stories and excerpts of interviews for use in web, print, and other outlets using Final Cut Pro (professional video editing program)
  • Track interviews and post-interview processing in the project’s customized FileMaker Pro database

Requirements:

  • Jewish studies background (or familiarity with modern Jewish and Yiddish culture and history)
  • Interest in oral history/ethnography
  • Comfort with technology and interest in learning new software/applications*
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Ability to update and maintain integrated tracking system for a complex workflow and expansive project
  • Ability to work independently, with low-level supervision

Yiddish-language Intern

Job Description:

  • Create interview logs for oral history interviews conducted in Yiddish or in both Yiddish and English
  • Identify great stories and excerpts from Yiddish-language interviews for use in web, print, and other outlets using Final Cut Pro (professional video editing program)
  • Translate into English and subtitle excerpts for online publication
  • Contribute translations and subtitles to short films
  • Track interviews and post-interview processing in the project’s customized FileMaker Pro database

Requirements:

  • Advanced Yiddish
  • Jewish studies background (or familiarity with modern American and Eastern European Jewish and Yiddish culture and history)
  • Interest in oral history/ethnography
  • Comfort with technology, interest in learning new software/applications*
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Ability to update and maintain integrated tracking system for a complex workflow and expansive project
  • Ability to work independently, with low-level supervision

*Note: Cultural and Yiddish-language interns will receive basic training in Final Cut Pro video editing software.

Hours: Cultural and technical interns must work a minimum of eight hours per week. Cap on hours per week depends on work-study status and internship track. Schedule negotiable during weekday daytime hours.

Compensation: $10 per hour.

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Natalie King, Wexler Oral History Project administrative assistant, at tellyourstory@yiddishbookcenter.org. Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled, so apply early. 

• Volunteers

We are seeking five volunteers to serve as shraybers, or oral history field processors, to help us mine our growing oral history collection for great stories and make them accessible to the world, working from their home computers. This opportunity is open to qualified applicants across the country and beyond. 

Job description

  • Write 400-600 word abstracts summarizing oral history interviews
  • Identify great moments as potential excerpts by timecode as you watch the interview
  • Assign keywords based on a standardized list, adding interview-specific terms

Time commitment

  • Three to five hours of online training on Sunday, June 19, 2016, and another Sunday in the summer of 2016, date to be determined
  • Process ten to twenty interviews per year (one or two per month, approximately two to six hours per interview)
  • Minimum one-year commitment

Requirements

  • Interest in Jewish stories
  • Familiarity with and knowledge of Jewish and Yiddish culture
  • Ability to write a strong, engaging, and concise summary of an interview
  • Comfort with word processing, using e-mail, and accessing the Internet
  • Successful completion of training

General Qualifications

  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Ability to work independently with low-level supervision by the project coordinator

You do not need to know Yiddish to do this work; however, any familiarity with Yiddish language, culture, and history is a plus.

If you are interested, please fill out the application online here by Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Please address all inquiries to the oral history administrative assistant, Natalie King, at tellyourstory@yiddishbookcenter.org.