YiddishSchool: 2021 Faculty

Moishele Alfonso was born in Memphis, Tennessee and received his BA in German and French from the University of Memphis. In 2013, he moved to Miami Beach, Florida and began studying Yiddish with a private instructor. He attended the YIVO Summer Program in 2018 and participated in the Yiddish Book Center’s Yiddish Pedagogy Program in 2018-2019, where he was trained to teach with their new Yiddish textbook, In eynem. Moishele has taught both beginners and intermediate-advanced adult students at Beth Torah Synagogue in Aventura, Florida, as well as seventh- to ninth-grade former students of Sholem Aleichem College in Melbourne, Australia. He will teach the beginner course at YiddishSchool Onliine.

Kolya Borodulin is the master teacher and director of Yiddish programming at the Workers Circle in New York, the largest nonacademic program in the United States. He teaches Yiddish language and culture to multigenerational audiences: kids, teens, and adults (sometimes four generations together), nationally and internationally, and is credited with giving hundreds of Yiddishists their foundation in the language. His dynamic style has garnered a growing fan base across the United States and beyond. He is the organizer of the Trip to Yiddishland program (Circle Lodge, Hopewell Junction, New York) and Yiddish programming coordinator at KlezKanada. Borodulin is the author of Yiddish Year Round: A Curriculum for the Young Beginners and a number of Yiddish educational materials for children. He piloted in 2014 and is successfully running Yidish fun der vaytns—live, online Yiddish classes at the Workers Circle. Kolya will teach "Leyent Forverts mit fargenign! (Read the Yiddish Forward with pleasure!)" at YiddishSchool Online.

Chloë (Zissel) Piazza is a PhD student in Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley with Designated Emphases in Jewish Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. They teach Yiddish and Talmud in both academic and community settings and love learning and employing radical pedagogical methods. Chloë is working on their dissertation, a transgender history of the Jews. They are a Teaching Fellow at SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, have been a Yiddish pedagogy fellow and a translation fellow at the Yiddish Book Center, and their English translation of Di agune, an early Yiddish play by Maria Lerner, is forthcoming in a volume on women on the Yiddish stage from Syracuse University Press. Chloë is also a playwright and performer.

Asya Vaisman Schulman is the director of the Yiddish Language Institute at the Yiddish Book Center. 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 both extracurricular and for-credit Yiddish courses at Harvard, Columbia, the New York Workmen’s Circle, and Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts. Schulman holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Yiddish from Harvard. Schulman's PhD research was on the Yiddish songs and singing practices of contemporary Hasidic women. She will teach a continutation course of her 2019 advanced beginner course at YiddishSchool Online. 

Cantor Jeff Warschauer is internationally renowned as a one of the foremost exponents of the klezmer mandolin, as an innovator in the development of a klezmer guitar style, as an expressive Yiddish singer, and as a skillful and inspirational educator. A graduate of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jeff is Cantor at The Jewish Center of Princeton, NJ. He is on the faculty of Columbia University and is a Founding Artistic Director and Senior Artistic Advisor of the KlezKanada Institute for Yiddish/Jewish Culture.

Deborah Strauss is one of the leading klezmer fiddlers of her generation. She is also an award-winning children’s educator and a highly regarded Yiddish dancer and dance leader. She has performed with the Klezmatics and appears in the film Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem. Deborah is co-director of both the instrumental music program and the dance program at Yiddish New York and, with Alan Bern, is the author of Klezmer Duets for Violin and Accordion, published in 2017 by Universal Edition, Vienna.

As the Strauss/Warschauer Duo, they have performed to overwhelming acclaim in such diverse venues as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Great Britain’s Fiddles on Fire, the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland, and the Art of Yiddish in Los Angeles with the late actor and singer Theodore Bikel. Together, they lead some of the most popular klezmer music, Yiddish song, and traditional dance workshops throughout North America and Eastern and Western Europe. Both teach regularly at KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, and the Warsaw International Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture.

The staff were friendly and helpful, the teachers were knowledgeable and lively, the lecturers enthusiastic and interesting.
YiddishSchool participant