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:

Oral History Project Assistant

The Yiddish Book Center seeks a motivated and experienced full-time Administrative Assistant to provide administrative and communications support for the ongoing collection and curation efforts of its Wexler Oral History Project.

Program Description:

Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 700 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture. The interviews in our growing collection are conducted in English, Yiddish, and occasionally other languages with narrators of all ages from a variety of backgrounds and are made publicly accessible on the Yiddish Book Center’s website.

Position Description:

The Wexler Oral History Project’s Administrative Assistant provides essential support for the maintenance and growth of the Yiddish Book Center’s collection of in-depth video oral history interviews through:

Coordination of oral history interviews and fieldwork
Fielding inquiries from the public about the work of the Project
Curating content from oral history collection for website, social media, and other communications
Managing regular posts and growing audiences on social media accounts
Maintaining databases and files
Maintaining participant databases and files
Administrative support to Project Director and staff
Other tasks as assigned

Qualifications:

Required:

Excellent written and oral communication and organizational skills
Attention to detail
Commitment to program mission
Flexibility
Excellent time management skills and ability to meet deadlines
Ability to work efficiently both independently and as part of a team
Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, Google applications, and social media platforms

Preferred:

Familiarity with modern Jewish history and culture
Familiarity with Yiddish language
Experience with archives or data systems

To apply: Send cover letter, resume and contact information for two references to Christa Whitney at [email protected].

• 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, specific language tracks, and a special position as part of a NEH grant-funded project.

Technical interns edit and upload video footage of interviews (not available Spring 2018). 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. Language specialist interns work on processing, translating, and subtitling interviews that are conducted in Yiddish, Polish, or other languages in the collection. All interns work closely with the Project's technical assistant and director.

NEH Oral History Project Transcription Assistant

Job Description: 

The NEH Oral History Project Transcription Assistant will assist in a new aspect of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project that is funded through a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Transcription Assistant will do the initial processing of transcripts of English-language oral history interviews, proofreading and copyediting.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Audio edit (quality check, proofread, and copyedit) interview transcripts
  • Help to populate lists of locations, proper names, organizations, and Yiddish keywords for the collection’s larger metadata project
  • Track transcription progress in Google spreadsheets

Requirements:

  • Interest in oral history, archives, and/or public history
  • Excellent English grammar and spelling skills
  • Ability to update and maintain an integrated tracking system for a complex workflow
  • Familiarity with GoogleSheets and GoogleDocs
  • Experience with transcription preferred
  • Jewish studies background (or familiarity with modern American/Eastern European Jewish and Yiddish culture and history) a plus

Details:

  • Start Date: January 2018
  • Approximate Number of Hours per Week: 8-10
  • Hourly Wage: $11

Spanish-language Specialist Intern

Job Description:

  • Create interview logs for oral history interviews conducted in Polish or in both Spanish and English
  • Identify great stories and excerpts from Spanish-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 or native Spanish
  • 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
  • Transcription and/or translation experience a plus

Polish-language Specialist Intern

Job Description:

Create interview logs for oral history interviews conducted in Polish or in both Polish and English
Identify great stories and excerpts from Polish-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 or native Polish
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
Transcription and/or translation experience a plus

Yiddish-language Specialist 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
  • Transcription and/or translation experience a plus

*Note: Cultural and language specialist 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: $11 per hour.

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. 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 [email protected].