In the Great Jewish Books Summer Program, students read, discuss, argue about, and fall in love with modern Jewish literature. This one week residential program is run by the Yiddish Book Center, and is open to rising high school juniors and seniors.
Program dates: July 23-28, 2023
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.
Participants spend their days at the Yiddish Book Center, immersed in a lively world of Jewish culture, and live in dorms on the nearby campus of Hampshire College. 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.