Committee for Yiddish

Old and New Theories about the Origins of Yiddish w/ Dr. Kalman Weiser

Photo 1 of 1: Old and New Theories about the Origins of Yiddish w/ Dr. Kalman Weiser

Old and New Theories about
the Origins of Yiddish

Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Party Room,
701 Sheppard Avenue West - buzz code #002
Street parking available nearby.
Admission to this event is $10, payable at the door
(cash only).

When, where, why, and how did Yiddish come into being? Since at least the 19th century, scholars have
debated where Yiddish comes from and what it tells us about the origins and migrations of its speakers.
A variety of answers have been proposed, usually to promote a specific political or ideological goal. In recent
years, linguistics and history have been joined by genetics to explore these questions, yielding sometimes
surprising new arguments. This talk will explore and evaluate various theories, including the recent controversy
surrounding the claim that Yiddish originates among medieval converts to Judaism in central Asia.

Kalman Weiser is the Silber Family Professor of Modern Jewish Studies at York University. He is co-editor of
Czernowitz at 100: the First Yiddish Language Conference in Historical Perspective (Lexington Books, 2010)
and the second, revised and expanded edition of Solomon Birnbaum's Yiddish: a Survey and a Grammar
(University of Toronto Press, 2016). His monograph Jewish People, Yiddish Nation: Noah Prylucki and the Folkists
in Poland (University of Toronto Press, 2011) won the 2012 Canadian Jewish Book Award for scholarship. He is
currently preparing a monograph about relations between Jewish and German scholars of Yiddish before, during,
and after World War II in addition to editing the volume Key Concepts in the Study of Antisemitism.
Presented by Club Et Cetera and UJA Federation's Committee for Yiddish
Part of the 5th International Jewish Culture Festival "Ot Azoj!"


Dr. Kalman Weiser
York University


A lecture in English.