Get Involved

The Yiddish Book Center's 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 Yiddish Book Center's 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, 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 Fall 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 editor or NEH oral history project coordinator and director.


Yiddish-language Specialist Intern

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 editor or NEH oral history project coordinator and director. 

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 Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro (professional video editing programs)
  • 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


  • 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*

*Note: Cultural and language specialist interns will receive basic training in Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Intermediate-advanced Yiddish language skills
  • 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

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

• Volunteers

We are seeking 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 abstracts summarizing oral history interviews (original recordings in English, Yiddish, Spanish, Polish, Russian, or German)
  • 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


  • 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

Note on languages: We are seeking applicants with knowledge of Yiddish, Spanish, Russian, Polish, and German to work. However, you do not need to know Yiddish or other languages to do this work for our English-language interviews. 

If you are interested, please fill out the application online here.

Please address all inquiries to the Wexler Oral History Project staff at [email protected].