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High School Students Explore Modern Jewish Lit this Summer at YBC

 

AMHERST – High school students can spend a week exploring the richness and diversity of modern Jewish literature at the 2016 Great Jewish Books Summer Program at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst.

The competitive program, which is open to rising juniors and seniors, will offer two sessions in 2016: July 24-29 and July 31-Aug. 7. The deadline to apply for either session is April 1.

At Great Jewish Books, students read and discuss a wide range of modern Jewish literature—including fiction and nonfiction, poetry, and graphic novels, by writers including Isaac Bashevis Singer, Grace Paley, Sholem Aleichem, Anna Deveare Smith, and Etgar Keret—in seminar-style classes led by college professors. After class, the students participate in small discussion groups, meet contemporary writers, and take part in recreational activities under the supervision of resident advisers from the program. They also experience a taste of college life, living in a dorm at Hampshire College, adjacent to the Yiddish Book Center.

All students accepted to the program receive full scholarships covering the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and special events.

Now in its fifth year, Great Jewish Books has proven so popular that this summer the Yiddish Book Center will offer a second session to meet the demand. “These classes, teachers, and readings were some of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever enjoyed,” said one recent participant.

“I loved that the conversations spilled from classroom to lunch table to dorm,” another added. “Almost as thrilling was the encouragement and feedback I got from the professors.”

For more information, visit yiddishbookcenter.org/educational-programs/great-jewish-books-summer-program.

 

Newly redesigned YBC website

AMHERST – The Yiddish Book Center’s newly redesigned website (yiddishbookcenter.org) offers unprecedented access to a thousand years of Yiddish literature and culture, including books, literary works in translation, oral histories, films, and archival audio recordings of lectures by and interviews with major Jewish writers and cultural figures.

“The redesigned site has something for everyone,” said Aaron Lansky, the Center’s founder and president. “It allows visitors to search all our collections at once—including materials in all genres, in both English and in Yiddish—and to instantly access or download any item, in its entirety, completely free of charge.”

The Yiddish Book Center’s redesigned website, designed by Cogapp, a digital media agency in Brighton, England, makes it easy to search the entirety of the Center’s vast collections.

Search for the Yiddish writer Avrom Sutzkever, for instance, and you’ll find digitized volumes of his writings, an archival recording of a lecture he delivered in Montreal in 1959, vintage recordings of some of his best known poems read by Yiddish actors, links to translations of his work, and oral history interviews with scholars and family members, including his daughter and granddaughter.

Similarly, a search for the writer Itzik Manger yields both digital and audio books, a recorded interview in which Manger discusses his theory of poetry, oral history interviews with people who knew him, and new English-language content about the writer composed and curated by Eitan Kensky, the Center’s director of collections initiatives.

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