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

2024 Faculty:

Asya Vaisman Schulman (language faculty), the director of the Yiddish Language Institute and the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program at the Yiddish Book Center, will teach Beginner and Intermediate Yiddish. Schulman is the author of In eynem, a new Yiddish textbook for beginners that relies on the communicative approach to language learning. 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.

Rivke (Rebecca) Margolis (language and culture course faculty), the director and Pratt Foundation Chair of Jewish Civilisation at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, will teach Intermediate Yiddish. She earned her PhD in Yiddish Studies at Columbia University and has been teaching Yiddish language and culture ever since, both in community and university settings and intensive summer programs around the world. She has been involved with the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program since 2009. Her research focuses on Yiddish language and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and her current project on new Yiddish cinema examines film and television with Yiddish dialogue produced over the last two decades. She is the author of Jewish Roots, Canadian Soil: Yiddish Culture in Montreal, 1905-1945 as well as Basic Yiddish: A Grammar and Workbook. 

Adrien Smith (language faculty) will be teaching sections of both the beginner and intermediate classes. Adrien is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches Yiddish, Jewish folklore, and Eastern-European Jewish history. She has a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures from Stanford University. Her research looks at Yiddish speech style in Russian literature and performance in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as at Soviet science fiction.

Justin Cammy (culture course faculty) is Professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures at Smith College. His translation of Avrom Sutzkever's From the Vilna Ghetto to Nuremberg received the 2022 Leviant Prize in Yiddish Studies from the Modern Language Association.  He is a long-time faculty member of the both Steiner program and the Yiddish summer program at Tel Aviv University. In 2023-24 he served as a visiting scholar at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and at Rutgers University. Past fellowships include the Yiddish Matters research project at the Frankel Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan (2020), research fellow at Yad Vashem (2013-14), and Mellon Senior Scholar in Holocaust Studies at UCLA (2009).  In 2023 he was recognized with the Honored Professor Award for distinguished teaching, research, and service to Smith College.

Madeleine (Mindl) Cohen (culture course faculty) is the academic director of the Yiddish Book Center. Mindl has a PhD in Comparative Literature with an emphasis in Jewish Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on modern Yiddish literature and the relationships between Jewish politics in central and eastern Europe and writing about place; she is also interested in translation studies and the recovery of writing by women. Mindl has taught Yiddish language at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, the Yiddish Book Center, and for a number of community organizations. In addition to overseeing the educational programs of the Yiddish Book Center, she directs translation initiatives at the Center, which includes the Yiddish translation fellowship and the short works in translation series. Mindl was formerly chief editor for In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, and now serves as president of In geveb’s board of directors. She is a visiting lecturer in Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College.

Jennifer Young (culture course faculty) is an education programs manager at the Yiddish Book Center. Jennifer served as the Director of Education at the YIVO Institute, where she also worked as Digital Learning Curator to produce YIVO's first online class, Discovering Ashkenaz. She has also worked at the Tenement Museum, the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, and the New-York Historical Society. Jennifer received a B.A. in Anthropology and Jewish Studies from McGill University, and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois. After completing doctoral studies in Jewish history at NYU, she received an M.Ed in Museum Curriculum and Pedagogy from the University of British Columbia. She also serves as part of a scholars' working group dedicated to research and scholarship of the Yiddish Left, sponsored by Cornell University. 

"I am in awe of all of the teachers, who have consistently provided the best language learning instruction I've seen in any context."
2022 Steiner student