Apply to the Program

Applications for the 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program are now open. Applications are due February 7, 2021, at 11:59pm EST. Admissions notifications will be sent out by March 14, 2021. 

The Steiner Summer Yiddish Program is open to students between the ages of 18 and 26 who are either currently enrolled in a postsecondary education program (at least one year of undergraduate coursework is required) or have recently graduated (within five years). 

Applications must include:

  • The webform below
  • A written statement, 3-5 paragraphs in length
  • A video statement, no longer than 2 minutes
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A Yiddish essay (for intermediate applicants; see details at the end of the form below)

Please have your two recommenders email their letters to [email protected].

Please have your university (or universities) send official transcripts to [email protected]. If your university is unable to provide digital transcripts, have them mailed or faxed directly to us at:

Yiddish Book Center
Attn: Steiner Summer Yiddish Program
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax: 413-256-4700

Our online form now allows you to save a draft of your application. Click the “save draft” button at the bottom of the page, enter your e-mail, and you’ll be sent a personalized link to return to your draft at any time. 

We hope to conduct the 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program in-person at the Yiddish Book Center. However, due to the uncertain nature of COVID-19, there is the possibility that a residential program may not be feasible.  If that is the case, the full seven-week program will be held online. We will inform students of the final course format (residential or fully online) upon acceptance. In the meantime, please see our FAQ for more information regarding the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program’s possible remote learning adaptation. 

Contact Information
Yiddish Experience
Note: All students will be required to learn the Yiddish alphabet before arriving to the program.
*such as a textbook, website, or other resource
Additional Language Experience
Please tell us about your experiences speaking or studying other languages. For each language, tell us where and for how long you studied it (at which institutions and/or summer programs), and what level of proficiency you reached.
Additional Experience
Please list a maximum of three relevant work experiences and/or travel, cultural, or extracurricular activities. Include dates and a brief description of each job or activity.
Personal Statements
Each applicant must submit both a written and video personal statement. Intermediate applicants must also submit an essay in YIddish.
Please describe why you are interested in studying Yiddish. Describe the significance of Yiddish or Yiddish culture for you. Your essay should be between 3 and 5 paragraphs long.
Video Essay
Describe what draws you to the Steiner Program specifically. Have you participated in other intensive language programs? Please describe your experiences if you have. What motivates you to study Yiddish in this program as opposed to a yearlong class?

Note: Your video should not be professionally produced. Film it with a smartphone or laptop’s camera, whatever you have on hand. Speak naturally. You’ll make a few mistakes; that’s fine—don’t start over if you misspeak. Planning and shooting the video should take about fifteen minutes, and certainly no more than thirty. The video should be no longer than 2 minutes in length. Share the video with us as an unlisted video on YouTube. Please insert the relevant link below or send the video in a separate email to [email protected].

Students who have completed less than one year of Yiddish: Please write a one to two paragraph essay in Yiddish on a topic of your choice (e.g., your family, a recent vacation, a typical week, etc). Take this opportunity to showcase your knowledge of as many different grammatical structures as possible (e.g., conjugation, negation, cases, tenses, etc). Be sure to proofread your work, but do not seek outside help. You may handwrite and scan or compose on a computer.

Students who have completed one year of Yiddish: Please write a one to two paragraph essay in Yiddish about a recent trip you took. Be sure to proofread your work, but do not seek outside help. You may handwrite and scan or compose on a computer.
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: jpg, jpeg, png, pdf, doc, docx.
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