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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


New Yiddish Curriculum in Gur

"Thanks to a British philanthropist, Gur Hasidim [1] will begin learning Yiddish.

Gur Hasidim are preparing for a serious reform of their school curriculum. Hassidic youth will learn Yiddish, a language that is not so familiar to the younger Gur generation. The dramatic move in the Gur Hasidic community will lead to Yiddish language studies in all Hasidic institutions. According to information received by 'Bhadrei Haredim', Yiddish will be implemented into the curriculum in the near future, on the Rebbe's [2] orders.

The move has become the talk of the day in the Gur community and 'BeHadrei Haredim' have learned that the famous British philanthropist Rabbi Elish Englander, one of the greatest supporters of Gur in recent years, has a great deal to do with this reform. He spoke to the Rebbe about it and said that he will test the boys for 10 minutes in Yiddish, and they will receive a full set of the Talmud [3] as a gift.

“You have to understand, this is something dramatic. In the past they tried to talk about it with the Rebbe, but he said there was no reason for them to know Yiddish and if they needed to know anything, it is Aramaic [4]”, said a Hasid [5]. Up until thirty years ago, all Hasidic institutions taught Yiddish and therefore the older generation mastered the language.

This morning an announcement that urges all professionals to learn Yiddish was published on the front page of the Hamodia and Hamevaser [6] newspapers. Additionally, the announcement asked anyone who is able to teach Yiddish language courses to contact the Gur offices."

-BeHadrei Haredim

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] Gur is a Hassidic dynasty that was founded in the small town of Gora in Poland in the early 1800s by Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter. The sect is known for their strict practices and regulations regarding joy, housing, gender segregation and sexuality. Today, Gur is the largest Hasidic sect in Israel and is characterised by its large influence on politics, media and education.
[2] A Rebbe is the ultimate leader of a Hassidic community.
[3] Talmud is a central text of modern Rabbinic Judaism and serves as the basis of Jewish law. It is studied in depth in Yeshivot, religious men’s seminaries.
[4] The Talmud and many texts of Jewish law are written in Aramaic.
[5] A Hasid is an adherent of a Hassidic movement.
[6] Haredi newspapers

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