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A Jewish resort in the country for Yiddish speakers of all ages

Each summer, the Yiddish Vokh hosts a week filled with workshops, campfires, arts & crafts and sports.
The lake at the Yiddish Vokh Photo by Mikhail Voskolovich

Imagine a Jewish resort in the mountains where graduate students are playing board games and children are splashing in the swimming pool. Senior citizens are listening to dynamic lectures under a large maple tree.

Now imagine them doing all this in Yiddish.

The Yiddish Vokh (literally: Yiddish Week), which is sponsored by the Yiddishist organization Yugntruf, has been hosting retreats like this for 48 years. It’s one of the only events outside the Hasidic community for Yiddish speakers of all Jewish denominations. The guests spend an entire week together engaging in a variety of recreational activities, while improving their Yiddish-speaking skills.

The annual event takes place on the grounds of the Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camps in Copake, New York, along a natural lake surrounded by the Berkshire Mountains. This year the it will be held from Aug. 16-22

A yoga session Photo by Mikhail Voskolovich

All meals are under kosher supervision, with vegan and gluten-free options available. Participants seeking shabbos services can choose between an Orthodox or egalitarian minyan. Others can join a group hiking in the nearby woods.

First-time registrants get a 15% discount.

In the evenings, the guests gather in the theater for a special activity. It could be a college bowl (called freg-geshleg in Yiddish) or a Yiddish version of the game show Family Feud. Or it could be an evening of folk dance and tango accompanied by professional klezmer musicians, or a talent show.

For guests who have no car, there is a bus leaving and returning to midtown Manhattan.

To get more details about the Yiddish Vokh, or to sign up, click here.

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