Steiner Summer Yiddish Program: FAQ

Due to the continuing risk of COVID-19, the 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program will be held remotely and the full seven-week program will be conducted online. Please see our virtual program page and COVID-19 FAQs below for more information regarding the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program’s remote learning adaptation. 


Who should apply to the program?
The program is open to students and recent graduates 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). 

Why is there an age limit for program participants?
The Steiner Summer Yiddish Program is geared specifically toward college-age students. We aim to create a cohort of peers who will learn together. Because of this program dynamic, we accept students between the ages of 18 and 26. The Yiddish Book Center offers a variety of other programs for people of all ages. Please check out our educational programs for an overview of the Yiddish Book Center’s language and cultural opportunities. 

What will be my weekly commitment?
The program requires a full-time commitment for seven weeks; you should not plan to work on your graduate studies or work during that time. For more information about program logistics and activities, check out our remote program logistics page.

What’s it like to be in an intensive language program?
Intense! One day of language instruction in an intensive program is the equivalent of one week of instruction in a traditional college classroom course. Consistent attendance and participation in all classes and activities are required. Students should be prepared to work and practice each day, including weekends, to keep up in the program.

Do you accept international applications?
International students are welcome to apply. 

When is the deadline to apply for the program? When are acceptance decisions announced?
The deadline to apply for the 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program has passed. All applicants will be notified of our decisions by March 15, 2021.

Do I need to know some Yiddish?
No prior knowledge of Yiddish is required for the beginner class, but we look for students who are capable of intensive language study and are enthusiastic about spending their summer learning about Yiddish language and culture.

I am an intermediate speaker. Can I take the culture course?
Yes. Intermediate students who have strong language backgrounds but have not studied Yiddish culture in depth may opt to enroll in the culture course rather than participate in the internship program.

I attended the program as a beginner, and now I am applying for the intermediate level. Do I need to resubmit all my application materials?
If you are applying to be a returning student, you do not need to submit new letters of recommendation. You also do not need to resubmit your transcript unless it has been updated since you last applied. You must submit a new application form, personal statement, and the Yiddish essay for intermediate students.

How competitive is the application process? What do you look for in candidates?
Admission to the program is competitive. A distinctive aspect of our program is the sense of community that develops due to its small size (eighteen students) and residential setting. We try to choose students who will contribute to the group through their maturity, creativity, and personal interests. We encourage applicants who were not admitted the first time to apply again.

Whom should I contact to discuss disability accommodations? 
To discuss possible disability accommodations, contact Phoenix, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Coordinator. 

What do alumni of the program go on to do?
Many Steiner participants continue their study of Yiddish language and culture. Many have gone on to careers in fields related to Yiddish and Jewish culture in academia, the arts, and at cultural organizations—including, in some cases, the Yiddish Book Center.


Will the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program be conducted in 2021? 
Yes! The 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program will be held online and will run for the full seven-weeks.

When will we know if the program will run residentially? 
The 2021 program will not run residentially.

Will I still get course credit? 
Yes! Although the program is conducted online, course credit will still be offered.  

What will be my weekly commitment? 
The remote class will still be a full-time intensive program; three hours of language class each weekday, plus 1-3 hours of additional programming each day, including but not limited to workshops, culture classes, study hall, and small group activities. 

Will I still be eligible for the intermediate stipend?  
We will be offering intermediate stipends for the 2021 cohort.

Was the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program held in 2020?
Yes. The Steiner Summer Yiddish Program was conducted as a 7-week online program in 2020. For more information about our 2020 online program, contact Phoenix, Steiner Summer Yiddish Program Coordinator.  

Will the online program still be a rewarding experience?  
Yes! While we wish you were joining us at the Yiddish Book Center this summer, our faculty and staff have spent the last year developing a dynamic virtual program. The 2021 program, the second virtual Steiner Summer Yiddish Program, will be a community-oriented seven-week learning experience full of classes, workshops, small group activities, and Yiddish shabes (held before sundown). 


"This summer was definitely where my love for Yiddish was conceived. I am so grateful to the Steiner staff for making it happen despite the pandemic."
2020 Virtual Steiner Program student