On the second day of this year's Song Workshop, the Israeli musicologist and first-time YSW faculty member, Naomi Cohn Zentner, started her talk by saying "Yesterday (or was it one year ago?) we talked about..." That describes pretty much exactly the sense of suspended time that comes over us each year when we dive into the labyrinth of questions, discoveries, more questions, more discoveries, and so on without end, that makes every Yiddish Summer unique.

This year's subject, "The Other Israel: Seeing Unseen Diasporas" proved to be even deeper and broader than we had expected. We discovered connections among many different communities - religious, secular, Arabic, Jewish, Near Eastern and European. There were many encounters and surprises. For example, we learned about the role that exiled German Jewish Expressionist women choreographers played in the creation of Israeli folk dance and folk music. Yair Dalal, Yagel Haroush, Moshe and Odelya Berlin, Naomi Cohn Zentner, Chilik Frank, Gershon Leizerson, Youssef Nassif, Jill Gellerman, Judith Brin Ingber, Mendy Cahan, Medhat Aldaabal and many, many other guest artists were extraordinarily generous with their time and knowledge. We initiated projects with new Israeli partners, including the University of Haifa and the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and we will develop these further in 2018 and beyond.

In a little over four weeks, we presented more than 80 events in five cities in Israel and Germany, including the very successful Kadya Choir and Caravan Orchestra projects. More than 7,500 people attended our events, with an average attendance of 95%. Around 250 people from all over the world took part in our workshops. Many new horizons opened for us in 2017, and we plan to explore both individual traditions and their connections further in 2018.

The whole Yiddish Summer team thanks you - participants, audience, volunteers, artists, partners, sponsors - for once again helping to make Yiddish Summer be a deep and important part of our lives. News about Yiddish Summer 2018 will start to appear on this website soon. We hope to see you again next year!

Welcome to Yiddish Summer Weimar 2017!
July 15 - August 12

Every summer, people of all ages from near and far come to Weimar to experience our inspiring program of workshops, concerts, dances, jam sessions and much, much more. You can come for a brief visit to hear a concert, join a jam session, dance or mini-workshop, or stay for as long as a month and immerse yourself in our unique, interdisciplinary program.

Yiddish culture is world culture. It has many deep and surprising connections to other cultures of Europe, the Middle East, North and South America and beyond. Each year, we explore some of these connections. In 2017, our special topic is "The Other Israel: Seeing Unseen Diasporas." Israel today is home to a kaleidoscope of cultures from around the world. Yiddish culture is only one of these, alongside Iraqi, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Russian, and many others. This year, we will be introduced to this amazing and complex intercultural matrix, guided by some of the renowned artists and teachers who live inside it.

Are you looking for something special and inspiring to do on vacation? Then look no further than our Festival Week, from August 2 to August 6 featuring nightly concerts of world-class musicians and a daytime program of hands-on, mini-workshops in klezmer music, Yiddish language, song, dance, literature, history, cooking and much more. And all of this takes place in Weimar and nearby Erfurt, two picturesque and historic towns with outstanding and unique cultural heritages including the homes of Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Liszt, the Bauhaus movement (Weimar), and medieval Jewish life (Erfurt), to name just a few sites well worth visiting.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth experience of Yiddish culture, our intensive workshops are just the thing. Led by teams of world-renowned artists and scholars, with participants from more than two dozen countries, there is nothing quite like the open, supportive and challenging atmosphere of a Yiddish Summer Weimar workshop. Our full spectrum of workshops in instrumental and vocal music, dance and language are designed for beginners, professionals and everyone in between, including special programs for children and teenagers.

So whether you come to us for a brief visit or a longer stay, we’ll gladly welcome you in 2017 to the inspiring world of Yiddish Summer Weimar! See you soon!

*From within Germany: 03643 85 83 10. From outside of Germany: 0049 3643 85 83 10