The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Yeshiva
College serves as an interdisciplinary hub for foreign language
acquisition as well as the exploration of larger questions, both
practical and humanistic, related to language and literary and cultural
Our goal is to develop and enhance communicative language skills,
reading and interpretive skills, critical thinking and understanding
both within and among the cultural and linguistic groups represented.
With six languages taught, extensive resources and growing numbers of
activities outside the classroom, the Department of Languages,
Literatures and Cultures is an ever-expanding cultural crossroads!
A major in Languages, Literatures and Cultures requires students to
select a primary language section and fulfill requirements set by that
section. The department currently offers majors in French and Classical
Languages, and minors in French, Spanish and Classics.
Please visit the French,
Classical Languages and Spanish
sites for information on program requirements and offerings.
This site gathers information on Yeshiva College offerings in Yiddish
and Arabic. (Note that Yeshiva College also has rich offerings in
Hebrew, which is not considered a foreign language at YC.)
Requirements for each major generally include demonstration of
language proficiency and the successful completion of a series of
courses and seminars in the literature and culture of the major area.
Selection of these seminars is done in concert with a faculty adviser
and is designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing students to
cross-register and customize their course of study to suit the schedule
and diverse needs of the YC student. Work towards a major culminates in
an independent study during the student’s senior year.
Reasons for studying a language are multifaceted—ranging from the
personal to the political—but it’s undeniable that knowledge of a second
(or, for most YC students, third, fourth, or fifth) language enhances
our understanding of other cultures, as well as our own.
With their knowledge of Hebrew (and, possibly, Aramaic and other
tongues), YU students are in a privileged position to learn additional
languages, and we encourage you to take advantage of this. Not only can a
language provide a personal link to others but also, in this age of
increasing globalization, it can create important ties to economic and
Moreover, a language opens pathways to other rich cultures,
traditions, histories, and art. For these reasons, knowledge of a
language is a perfect complement to many other fields of study:
political science, international relations, business, law, medicine,
history, Jewish Studies, English, philosophy, cinema, art and art
history, to name just a few.
And did we mention it’s fun? Language classes at YC combine
innovative language teaching methods and use of the latest technology
with dynamic teachers. In a language class at YC you can expect
something new everyday : we use skits, movies, internet activities and a
variety of communicative approaches to encourage students’
participation in the creative process of language learning.
Finally, let’s not forget that studying a language can fulfill your
General Education requirement: Two courses in history, philosophy or a
foreign language other than Hebrew OR one course selected from Art,
Music or a foreign language other than Hebrew.
Studying Yiddish enables students to explore the religious, cultural,
historical and social inheritance of generations of Jews. Spoken by the
majority of Eastern European Jews until the Holocaust, Yiddish is an
indispensable tool in the study of Eastern European history, literature,
folklore and religion, and crucial to American Jewish history as well.
The immigration of millions of Yiddish-speaking Jews in the early
twentieth century created a vibrant Yiddish-speaking community in New
York, with a rich culture of newspapers, publishing companies, theaters,
movies and political parties.
Yiddish is spoken today by young and old, religious and secular Jews
in many parts of the world. Students of Yiddish will be able to
communicate with Hassidim, read contemporary Hassidic literature, listen
to shiurim taught in Yiddish and delve into the works of such
celebrated writers as Mendele Mokher Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, Y.L.
Peretz and Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer.
College students from around the world are studying Yiddish in summer
programs in New York, Tel Aviv, Vilna and Amherst, Massachusetts,
securing the future of Yiddish studies. YC students can also take part
in this exciting renewal of an old tradition!
Yeshiva College offers courses in elementary intermediate levels of
Students choose to study Arabic because they wish to be able to
communicate with the millions of Arabic speakers in the world. Those
planning careers in international business, communications, and
diplomacy are professionally motivated to acquire proficiency in Arabic.
Courses in Arabic may be taken to fill Humanities requirements or as
If you have any questions about studies in Languages, Literatures, and
Cultures at Yeshiva College, please contact Professor Mesch at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212.960.5400, ext.
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Yeshiva College serves as an interdisciplinary hub for foreign language acquisition as well as the exploration of larger questions, both practical and humanistic, related to language, literary and cultural studies. The languages represented within the department are Arabic, French, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Syriac and Yiddish. Offering language-learning courses, literature courses, and upper-division seminars (usually cross-listed with the English Department) the over-arching departmental goal is to develop and enhance communicative language skills, reading and interpretive skills, critical thinking and understanding both within and among the cultural and linguistic groups represented.
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New York, NY 10033
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