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Ot Azoy 2019

Sunday 18th August 2019 Friday 23rd August 2019


11-1130: Registration for Level 1 (absolute beginners): Come and collect your materials at the from desk at the JMI reception and then we will direct you to the room where you meet Lily Khan and then have a session of Alef Beys (Alphabet) until 1pm

11-1230: Registration for Levels 2 & 3 (Lower Intermediate and Intermediate): You will have to be interviewed / have a chat with Khayele Beer just so we can be sure you are in the correct group and then you will be free until 2pm.

1230-130pm: Registration for Levels 4 & 5 (upper intermediate and advanced): You will have to be interviewed / have a chat with Khayele Beer just so we can be sure you are in the correct group and then you will be free until 2pm.

Discover JMI’s famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all ages, levels and backgrounds, where even complete beginners learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week.

Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 5 levels, and is directed by the head of Yiddish at UCL, Dr Khayele Beer with a faculty of world class Yiddish tutors and experts. As well as hands-on classroom teaching, it also features an extensive cultural programme of music, theatre, poetry and lectures from a world of Yiddish past and present. Shura Lipovsky, the outstanding Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song.

Here are a few reasons why this promises to be a week not to be missed this summer:

  • This is the only opportunity in the UK to immerse yourself in the deep and inspiring world of Yiddish culture for a whole week through language, literature, song and film with interesting and like-minded people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
  • You will have the privilege of working with some of the UK and Europe’s top educators and performers. No matter what your level in Yiddish whether a beginner or a budding linguist, professional singer or amateur enthusiast, you will benefit from the width and breath of programmes on offer through the week, both day and night.
  • The language and song schools run parallel during the week. Sessions for the week include reading, writing and speaking Yiddish, song master classes, concerts, film and discussion of the Yiddish scene in London and beyond.
  • The programme is based at SOAS, the heart of Ethnomusicology and the study of world cultures in the UK, at Russell Square in the heart of central London. What better chance to combine meeting an eclectic bunch of Yiddish enthusiasts with exploring one of Europe’s finest capital cities.
  • Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the JMI team for extra information about the course, accommodation advice or financial support. We can offer our students a discount on housing with the University of London.

Full rate £250 (£225 if booked before 1st June 2019)
Student / Senior rate £175 (£150 if booked before 1st June 2019)
Senior rate is set at 65+

Refund policy:
10% if cancelled before 1 June.
25% if cancelled after 1 July.
50% if cancelled after 1 August.

Daily timings:
Sunday 18th August: 1030am-6pm
Monday 19th August: 9.30am-8pm
Tuesday 20th August: 9.30am-8pm
Wednesday 21st August: 9.30am-8pm
Thursday 22nd August: 9.30am-10pm
Friday 23rd August: 9.30am-5pm


Sunday 18th August 2019
Friday 23rd August 2019
£150.00 – £250.00


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Helen Beer

Helen Khayele Beer is Course Director of Ot Azoy! London and She is the Bentsion Margulies Lecturer in Yiddish, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. She has taught Yiddish at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and is a veteran of Yiddish Intensive Summer Courses in Oxford, Brussels, Paris. She has produced an annual Yiddish Purim Shpil with students at UCL for over a decade and produced a full length Yiddish play in 2002.

Read more about Khayale Beer here

Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa

A much loved Ot Azoy! teacher, Sonia is an associate professor at the Institute of Judaic Studies, The Free University of Brussels (U.L.B.). She has taught Yiddish at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Columbia University, N.Y.C., and is the founder of the Yiddish intensive summer courses “Yiddish on the Continent” held in alternative years in Brussels, Paris and Strasbourg. She is one of the most sought after and popular teachers of Yiddish in Europe. A mainstay of Ot Azoy!, her teaching is enjoyed by young and old who find her teaching methods engaging and effective.

Picture: Helen Beer (left and Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa right)

Shura Lipovsky

Shura Lipovsky (Director of the Golden Peacock Yiddish Song School) was born in The Hague (Netherlands) and is a highly valued performer of Yiddish song. Writer and composer of new Yiddish songs, she appears as a singer and storyteller in Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Russia, the United States and Canada. She produced several cd’s, ‘Moments of Jewish Life’, ‘Heroes and Poets’ and ‘Tsart’. Her new CD ‘Vaytinke’ was presented December 2013.She was featured in Dutch, Belgian, American and Canadian documentaries (‘Jiddisj is mijn instrument’, ‘Terpe Kind Mains, Terpe’, ‘Yiddish Soul’, ‘Journey 4 Artists’, ‘Wandering Muse’). In 2008 and 2012 she was a member of the jury for the International Jewish Music Competition in Amsterdam. Read more about Shura Lipovsky

Lily Kahn

Lily Kahn teaches Yiddish and Hebrew in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL. She is the author of Colloquial Yiddish (Routledge, 2011), a Yiddish coursebook for beginners. She is interested in Yiddish linguistics, the relationship between Hebrew and Yiddish in Eastern Europe, Jewish languages, and endangered language revitalisation. She is passionate about introducing the Yiddish language to learners in an enjoyable and accessible way.

Sima Beeri

Dr Sima Beeri is a native Yiddish speaker born in Kovno, Lithuania. She holds a PhD in Modern Jewish History from the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. She has a keen interest in Yiddish language and culture. Her PhD on ‘Language in its Place: Yiddish as seen through the historical prism of Literarishe Bleter 1924-1939’ will be shortly published as a book. She is currently teaching a weekly Yiddish course at JW3 and running other Yiddish sessions independently. She has published several articles and continues to research Yiddish-related topics.

Simo Muir

Simo Muir an Honorary Research Associate at UCL. His current research focuses on the cultural reactions to the Holocaust and post-war politics of memory among Finnish Jews. Muir has an MA in Yiddish Studies from SOAS (University of London) and he received his doctorate from the University of Helsinki in 2004. His PhD focused on the Yiddish language and culture in Helsinki from a linguistic and socio-linguistic perspective.