YIVO appoints academic advisor in Yiddish language, pedagogy and linguistics

David Braun has held teaching positions in Yiddish language and linguistics at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Gratz College and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

David Braun. Credit: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
David Braun. Credit: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research announces that David Braun has been named by the Max Weinreich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies as the academic advisor in Yiddish language, pedagogy and linguistics.

The Max Weinreich Center is YIVO’s education department, offering courses in Yiddish and Jewish history and culture in person and online. Established in 1968, it is dedicated to the advancement of research in the field of Ashkenazic Jewish life and letters.

As academic advisor, Braun will play an instrumental role in guiding the education department’s winter, spring and fall semesters in faculty recruitment; the curation of YIVO’s Yiddish course catalog; the standardization of Yiddish-language levels of study; and the development of course materials. He will also serve as the editor for all Yiddish-language materials produced by YIVO.

Braun was appointed academic director for the YIVO-Bard Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish language, literature and culture in 2019. He will continue in this role as well.

“Dovid (David) is one of a handful of people on the planet who have such broad mastery of the Yiddish language,” said Ben Kaplan, YIVO’s director of education. “He brings an erudition and depth of knowledge, linguistic and institutional, that is invaluable to YIVO’s work. It’s a great joy to have him stepping into this advisory role, in which I have no doubt he will help us lay the foundation for the future of Yiddish studies.”

Braun stated that “YIVO has played a deeply meaningful role in my intellectual and spiritual life for as many decades as I can remember being alive. I’m honored to assume this new role with an institution that means so much to me.”

Braun, who studied at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, has taught all levels of Yiddish language at YIVO’s intensive summer program since 1990. He inaugurated and taught in the intensive summer programs of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., and the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

He has held teaching positions in Yiddish language, Yiddish linguistics and/or general linguistics at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Gratz College and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He regularly participates in varied research projects involving Yiddish language and culture.

Braun also serves as co-president of the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center in the Bronx, N.Y., which is now the only Greater New York City venue devoted exclusively to public Yiddish cultural events.

For the second year in a row, the YIVO-Bard Summer Program will be held both in person and online. Limited spaces are still available in the 2023 program, which runs from June 20 to July 28. Applications will be accepted through May 16.

To learn more, visit: summerprogram.yivo.org.

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YIVO is dedicated to fostering knowledge of the ongoing story of Jewish life, with a focus on the history and culture of East European Jewry—the ancestry of a significant proportion of Jews in the world today. This story has played an important role in shaping the times we live in. It’s a story that’s still unfolding and still being told. Scholars continue to uncover new layers of the story in our archives and library, one of the world’s most important resources on Jewish life and history in Europe; Yiddish language, literature and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. We bring you our discoveries, insights and treasures from our collections through our programs, courses, exhibitions, award-winning publications and websites. See more at: https://www.yivo.org/.
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