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Summer Literature program for teens

AMHERST – For the past three summers, Yiddish Book Center Academic Director Josh Lambert has spent a week teaching great works of contemporary Jewish literature to high school students. And every year, he sees them leave the program transformed.

“Literature that asks difficult questions about Jewishness and forces us to confront the conflicts and tensions within Jewish life can be one of the best ways to reach teenagers,” Lambert said. “It can help them to think about who they are, where they come from, what choices they make.”

The Great Jewish Books Summer Program introduces students to a wide range of modern Jewish novelists, poets, and short-story writers – ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Sholem Aleichem to Grace Paley – in classes taught by college professors. Participants will meet with contemporary authors and connect with other students from across the U.S. and Canada while staying in dorms at Hampshire College, and taking part in field trips and recreational activities under the supervision of resident advisers.

The program is open to rising high school juniors and seniors. All students accepted to the competitive program receive full scholarships covering the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and special events. This year’s program will take place Aug. 2 to 9. Applications are due April 1. For more information or to apply, visit

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