Course Instructors

Fall 2023 Faculty

Moishele Alfonso was born in Memphis, Tennessee and received his BA in German and French from the University of Memphis. He attended the YIVO Summer Program in 2018 and participated in the Yiddish Book Center’s Yiddish Pedagogy Fellowship (2018-19) and Yiddish Pedagogy Practicum (2021-22). He has taught Yiddish at the Workers Circle since 2021, and at the Center since 2020, and has been an instructor at Bossie Dubowick YiddishSchool and the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program.

Sasha Berenstein (she/they) is a Yiddish teacher, Klezmer musician, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity activist on unceded Duwamish territory in so-called Seattle. She began her work in transgender/queer inclusivity in the Yiddish language with compiling a glossary of Yiddish transgender/nonbinary/gender-neutral terms that can be found on the League for Yiddish's “Words of the Week” page and on Medium, which later became the primary vocabulary source drawn from by the authors of Undzer Mishpokhe: A Queer Yiddish Curriculum Supplement. Since then, Sasha has led related workshops and trainings for inclusivity in Yiddish pedagogy, while continuing Yiddish language instruction centering accessibility and identity for queer, trans, and disabled folks. Sasha is also especially passionate about creating inclusive educational environments for immunocompromised folks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting Yiddish curricula to online formats to meet the needs of the growing demographic of people who can't safely or reliably attend class in person.

Philip Schwartz has taught Yiddish with the Bente Kahan Foundation (Wrocław), the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the Warsaw Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture. He holds BA degrees in Slavic studies, rhetoric, and history, as well as an MA in Jewish studies. His research focuses on neo-Hasidism in Yiddish literature and on Yiddish culture in the Eastern bloc. Occasionally, he writes for contemporary Yiddish publications such as Forverts, Afn shvel, Yidish-branzhe, and Yidishland.