2019 Yiddish Book Center Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Faculty

The Steiner Summer Yiddish Program faculty reflect a variety of disciplines and a wide range of interests in contemporary Yiddish scholarship.

Core Faculty:

Asya Vaisman Schulman, the director of the Yiddish Language Institute at the Yiddish Book Center and adjunct assistant professor at Hampshire College, will teach Beginning Yiddish. Before joining the Center, Schulman taught Yiddish at Indiana University, where she was also the project manager of AHEYM, the Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories. Schulman has taught Yiddish courses at Harvard, Columbia, the New York Workmen’s Circle, and Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Yiddish from Harvard. Her PhD research was on the Yiddish songs and singing practices of contemporary Hasidic women.

Sharon Bar-Kochva is a Yiddish teacher and researcher of modern Yiddish and Hebrew literatures. She works at the Paris Yiddish Centre as a teacher and librarian and has taught Yiddish language and literature at several universities in Paris, as well as in summer courses in Paris, Strasbourg, and Warsaw. Her research interests include pseudonyms of Yiddish and Hebrew writers, Ashkenazi diasporic litterateurs, and the relationship between modern Hebrew and Yiddish literatures.

Visiting Faculty:

Justin Cammy is associate professor of Jewish studies and comparative literature at Smith College, where he directs the Program in Jewish Studies. A longtime member of the Steiner faculty, he is also a regular lecturer on Yiddish literature in the Naomi Kadar International Summer Yiddish Program at Tel Aviv University, where he served as Webb Family Visiting Scholar in Yiddish in 2013-14. Cammy has translated two works of Yiddish literature: Sholem Aleichem's Shomers mishpet (The Judgment of Shomer, 1888), and Hinde Bergner's In di lange vinternekht (On Long Winter Nights: Memoirs of a Jewish Family in a Galician Township, 1870-1900). His scholarly articles on such Yiddish writers as Avrom Sutzkever, Leyzer Volf, and Chaim Grade form the basis for his book Young Vilna: Yiddish Culture of the Last Generation, forthcoming from Indiana University Press.

Rebecca (Rivke) Margolis is an associate professor in the University of Ottawa’s Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program, where her courses include “Yiddish Literature and Film” and a specifically Canadian intensive Yiddish course offered every three years. She holds a BA in Jewish Studies from McGill University and an MA-PhD from Columbia in Yiddish Studies and has taught Yiddish for over twenty years at a variety of settings, from preschool to adult education. Her research interests include Yiddish cultural life in Canada, depictions of the Holocaust in literature and film, the transmission of Yiddish since the Holocaust and, most recently, new Yiddish cinema. She is the author of the book Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil: Yiddish Culture in Montreal, 1905-1945, and numerous articles on Yiddish literature, education, theatre and other areas. She has taught in the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program since 2009 and considers the Yiddish Book Center a Yiddish home away from home. 

Miriam Udel is associate professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in Comparative Literature from the same institution. Her research interests include Yiddish modernism, genre studies, Jewish children’s literature, and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque (University of Michigan Press, 2016), winner of a National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. She is preparing an annotated, translated anthology of Yiddish children’s literature called Honey on the Page, slated to appear with New York University Press.

"Asya Vaisman Schulman was the best language teacher I have ever had. She had such great, positive energy. Her course really changed the way I thought about language learning."
2015 Steiner student