- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: United States
- Program Delivery: Online
- Provided By: Independent Provider
- Session Start: June
- Session Length: Six Weeks
- Entering Grade: 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Faith-Based
- Sub-Categories: College Courses, College Experience, Reading, Writing, History, Jewish, LGBTQ
- Selective: No
- Ages: 15, 16, 17
- Minimum Cost: Free
In the Great Jewish Books Summer Program, students read, discuss, argue about, and fall in love with modern Jewish literature. This six week online program is run by the Yiddish Book Center, and is open to rising high school juniors and seniors.
Program dates: June 20-July 30, 2021
At the Yiddish Book Center's Great Jewish Books Summer Program, rising high school juniors and seniors read selections from important works of modern Jewish literature and consider how they speak to the opportunities and challenges we face today. Under the guidance of college professors, they consider how the rich legacy of modern Jewish literature can inform us in the twenty-first century.
“I gained an appreciation for literature, Yiddish and other languages, and translation… This program added to my summer and was a good anchor during all the chaos in the world.”
— 2020 Great Jewish Books student
Although the program’s focus is on reading, this is not school in any conventional sense: Great Jewish Books is a lively program full of social, cultural, and recreational opportunities—and no grades—for students who read for the love of reading and who are eager to discover the treasures of the Jewish canon.
In the first five weeks of the program, participants attend a series of virtual seminars and social activities, paired with asynchronous activities and spaced out throughout each week to allow time for other summer commitments. The final week (July 25-30) offers a faster-paced deep-dive into modern Jewish literature, with daily classes, talks with contemporary writers, and an array of recreational activities. Students connect with their peers and faculty over Zoom and Discord. View the program activities here
Great Jewish Books students:
- read and discuss important works of modern literature by a diverse range of writers such as Franz Kafka, Sholem Aleichem, Grace Paley, Clarice Lispector
- learn from college faculty as well as prominent visiting writers (including, in past years, award-winning authors Ayelet Tsabari and Molly Antopol, poet and scholar Joy Ladin, and graphic novelist and scholar Ilan Stavans).
- develop skills for literary analysis and self-expression that will prepare them for college. connect with other teenagers from across North America who love to read and who care about literature and Jewish culture.
- discover how modern literature connects them to ancient traditions and contemporary ideas.