KlezCalifornia Tam: Tastes of Yiddish Culture for Kids & Teens — Lesson Plans

Full lesson plans will be on-line here in April 2017. Here are brief summaries of each lesson: 

(1) Intro to Yiddish Language & History (grades K-12). 
What is Yiddish and where did it come from? Students listen to and learn a simple Yiddish song, a few Yiddish words and phrases, and see how Jewish values are conveyed through songs. They learn a bit about 1,000 years of Jewish history that was lived in Yiddish. 

(2) Learn A Bisl Yiddish (or, You Already Know Some Yiddish) (grades K-12) 
Yiddish words in English, simple Yiddish phrases, holiday names, how words in other languages made their way into Yiddish. 

(3) Why Yiddish Shares So Many Words With Other Languages (Every Language Does) (grades 7-12) 
How and why all languages change. 

(4) Yiddish Culture in Your Family (grades K-12). 
Students look at their roots, including where their ancestors came from, sources of their family names and personal names, foods, holiday practices. 

(5) Yiddish Customs in American Jewish Life (grades K-12). 
Religious practices and home practices, such as Torah chanting trope, kol nidre melody, dreydls, food, klezmer music at simkhes, Yiddish phrases. 

(6) What Do You Know about Ashkenazi Jewish Food? (grades 5-12). Discussion of what makes food Jewish (or Yiddish), followed by cooking lesson. 

(7) Yiddish Culture in American Life (grades K-12). 
Yiddish words in English, food, humor, American institutions created by Yiddish-speaking Jews, klezmer influences on jazz. 

(8) Yid Lit (Yiddish Literature in Translation) (grades K-12). hat can a Yiddish short story tell us about Jewish life? We read (in English) a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sholem Aleichem, or I.L. Peretz. 

(9) Intro to Klezmer Music (grades K-12). 
Klezmer was originally Jewish wedding music. It tells us about the lives and celebrations of many of our ancestors. Prepare to listen, learn, and maybe to dance! 

(10) Musical Migration Among Cultures: Why Klezmer Music Sounds Balkan or Polish (grades 7-12) 
We compare Jewish melodies with melodies of surrounding cultures, and understand the cultural interaction between Jews and their neighbors all over Eastern Europe. 

(11) Jewish Lives in Yiddish Song (grades K-12). 
We listen to, sing and discuss any of nine songs to find out about the lives and history of Yiddish-speaking Jews. 

(12) Yiddish Life in Painting & Photography (grades 7-12). xplore paintings and photographs from or about Eastern Europe for clues to Jewish history, and today’s customs and practices. 

(13) Reaping in Song -The Weekend and Yiddish Protest Culture (grades 7-12). The American fight for workers’ rights began in union halls and picket lines - in Yiddish! We'll discuss - and sing about - how speakers of Yiddish, strikers, poets, and industrialists collaborated to give us the two-day weekend. 

(14) The Language Debates: What Languages “Should” Jews Speak? (grades 7-12). 
What languages are you studying and why? We'll explore these issues through historical Jewish debates about language.