What is Yiddish Summer Weimar?

Yiddish Summer Weimar (YSW) began life as a weekend workshop in 1999. Today it spans a whole month and has become one of the world's leading summer programs for the study, creation and presentation of traditional and contemporary Yiddish culture.

Following the vision of founding artistic director Alan Bern, YSW is a uniquely creative, intercultural community in which people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. The week-long workshops that make up the backbone of YSW are taught by international,  cutting-edge artists and scholars in an atmosphere that encourages learning, discussion, creativity, individuality and community. During the special Festival Week, nightly concerts feature the best of today's artists performing Yiddish and other East European music, while the daytime program offers hands-on mini-workshops in Yiddish language, music, dance, cooking and more for all ages and levels of experience, as well as a film series and other public events.

Many of today's most successful and innovative Yiddish musicians have roots in YSW, including The Other Europeans, Brave Old World, Daniel Kahn, Alpen Klezmer, Voices of Ashkenaz, forshpil, Trio Figelin, Kol Ishe and many more. We invite you to explore our history and philosophy through the links on this page, and hope to meet you this summer in Weimar!