Discovering Ashkenaz (and its folklore) — online courses via YIVO

A visitor takes a picture in the 16th-century Remuh synagogue, Krakow

A visitor takes a picture in the 16th-century Remuh synagogue, Krakow


YIVO is again offering the 6-week, online course Discovering Ashkenaz: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe taught by Samuel Kassow, the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and one of the leading scholars on the Holocaust and the Jews of Poland. 

The course examines the history and culture of the Jews of Poland, Russia, and Lithuania, from medieval times through the Communist era: Jewish relations with peasants and nobility, the rise of Hasidism and Haskalah, Yiddish and Hebrew modernism, revolution, spiritual resistance during the Holocaust, and postwar continuities with the past. 

YIVO web site describes it as

an intensive, college-level survey, equivalent to two 2-hour sessions per week over six weeks. Work at your own pace, following the course videos and interactive quizzes and activities, explore YIVO’s unique archive and library collections, and join our discussion forum to meet up with students and faculty. Those who complete the whole course will get a special YIVO certificate.


Click here to register

YIVO also offers the related Folklore of Ashkenaz: Folksong, Demons, and the Evil Eye course, taught by the Yiddishist Itzik Gottesman, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Germanic Studies and on the faculty of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

See the trailer for the course:



Click to register



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