Vienna University plans chair of Yiddish studies

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Vienna University plans chair of Yiddish studies
Hebrew prayer book from 1272 with Yiddish text. Photo: Wikimedia

According to an article in Der Standard newspaper, the University of Vienna plans to set up an interdisciplinary Chair in the Yiddish language and Yiddish studies.


The university plans to launch the Chair in 2015.  It is currently working to establish an exploratory committee for the solicitation of funds, which will include representatives of Austria's Jewish communities, according to a press release.

On June 17th, the project will be presented in the "Epstein Lecture" at the Palais Epstein, an annex of the Austrian Parliament.

The project is managed by the Institute for Jewish Studies. In addition, according to the university it will include participation of the Institutes for German Studies, Eastern European History and Slavic Studies.
As part of the endowment, not only will the Yiddish language be taught, it will also explore the contributions of Yiddish culture to Austrian and European literature, art, music and politics over the centuries.
Yiddish is the traditional language of Ashkenazi Jews, and has minority language official status in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the Ukraine.


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