Faculty of 2021
Dr. Yaad Biran - Haifa University
Biran received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His research examines the travels of Yiddish writers to Palestine in the first half of the twentieth century. He teaches Yiddish language and literature in Haifa University and in Beth Shalom Aleichem in Tel Aviv.
Biran is a writer and a screenwriter. His short stories collection "Laughing with Lizards" (Hebrew) was published by Zmora- Bitan in 2017. He composes the programs for "Esther's Cabaret" - A Yiddish cabaret born in Beth Shalom Aleichem that plays on different stages in Israel.
Biran is also a licensed tour-guide and the creator of the tours project "Yiddish in the Streets" in which he guides tours in the footsteps of Yiddish culture in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Mr. Daniel Birnbaum - Tel Aviv University
Daniel Birnbaum holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Oberlin College and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Birnbaum has been a Yiddish instructor at Tel Aviv University since 2007, teaching both in the framework of the International Summer Program as well as the School of Languages during the academic year. He developed an original Yiddish textbook for first and second year students, as well as an online Yiddish curriculum. His MA thesis on the literary aspects of Mendele's Fishke the Lame won an award of distinction in Yiddish scholarship from Beit Shalom Aleichem.
Professor Justin Cammy – Smith College; Summer Director of the International Yiddish Summer Program
Justin Cammy holds a Ph.D. in Yiddish Studies from Harvard University. He is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures at Smith College in Massachusetts (USA). In addition to teaching at Smith College, he has been a fellow at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan for its project on "Yiddish Matters" (2020), translation fellow at the Yiddish Book Center (2018-19), research fellow at the Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem (2014), Visiting Scholar at the Goldreich Institute for Yiddish at Tel Aviv University (2013-14), and Mellon Senior Scholar on the Holocaust at UCLA (2009). He has offered lectures on Yiddish literature and culture at the Yiddish summer program at Tel Aviv University since 2007, and is also a regular faculty member at the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program at the Yiddish Book Center. In 2006 Justin Cammy was awarded Smith College’s Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.
His translation of Avrom Sutzkever’s memoir of the Vilna Ghetto is forthcoming.
For more information on his work see https://www.smith.edu/academics/faculty/justin-cammy
Mr. Eliezer Niborski
Eliezer Niborski was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Paris, France, in a Yiddish speaking family. He studied Mathematics as an undergraduate and a graduate student and spent several years teaching Math in high schools in France. Since 2004, he has lived in Jerusalem, where he takes part in a bibliographical project lead by Beth Shalom Aleichem in conjunction with the National Library of Israel: the Index to Yiddish Periodicals. During the last fifteen years he has regularly participated as a Yiddish teacher in intensive summer programs for Yiddish language and literature, in Tel Aviv, New York , Vilna and Berlin.
Dr. Alexadnra Polyan - Moscow State University
Alexandra Polyan holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Institute of Linguistics (Russian Academy of Sciences) and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Jewish Studies, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University, where she also teaches Hebrew, Yiddish, Jewish diglossia and Yiddish literature.
Polyan has taught Yiddish language and culture at both academic and non-academic institutions: MSU, Project Judaica (Russian State University for the Humanities in cooperation with Jewish Theological Seminary), Eshkolot Project, International Solomon University (Khar'kiv), Jewish communities of Riga and Minsk, the Yiddish Summer Program in Vilnius.
She also is a journalist, working for Forward Yiddish Radio.
Interested in Yiddish dialects and Ashkenazi ethnography and folklore, she has conducted numerous interviews with Yiddish speakers in situ (in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Latvia). Her other fields of interest include: Yiddish and Hebrew literature, theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and theory of verse.
Professor David Roskies - Jewish Theological Semanry & Hebrew University of Jerusalem
A native of Montreal, Canada, David G. Roskies is among the world's leading cultural historians of Yiddish.
His books include Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture, A Bridge of Longing: The Lost Art of Yiddish Storytelling, The Jewish Search for a Usable Past, Yiddishlands: A Memoir, Holocaust Literature: A History and Guide (with Naomi Diamant), יהודיבור: מסות על תרבות יידיש (2018) and Voices from the Warsaw Ghetto (2019).
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.
Dr. Miriam Trinh - Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Miriam Trinh was born in Poland, grew up in Germany and immigrated to Israel at the age of 19. She completed her undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Yiddish at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, obtained her Master's degree in Yiddish literature at the Universities of Paris-Sorbonne and Strasbourg (France) and her Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
She has taught Yiddish language and literature at different levels in Paris, Vilna, Strassbourg, Oxford, New York and in Tel Aviv. She held the position of a postdoctoral fellow with the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD in 2014-2015. Her fields of research are Yiddish literature during the Holocaust and the multilingual Jewish literary reaction in Europe to the rise of Nazism. She is currently teaching Yiddish at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is - together with Eliezer Niborski - the founder of YO - Yiddish-Ort, a place for Yiddish and Yiddish Enthusiasts, which is based in Jerusalem and offers worldwide Yiddish online activities.