Culture and Religion, Games

‘Yiddishisms’ and basic Hebrew phrases

Yiddishisms’ are borrowings from Yiddish. They are most often colloquial words, or the names of objects or ideas connected to Jewish culture. Even though nowadays we use the Yiddish and Hebrew borrowings, it is worth teaching the children some of the most popular words.

Instruction

Ask the children to sit in a circle. Print out the list of borrowings/expressions and keep it at hand. Read out the words and ask whether the children have heard of them, and if they have, what do they mean. If the children do not know a word, explain its meaning.

This is the list of Yiddish words:

  • bachor – a small boy
  • bajgiel – bagel
  • belfer – teacher
  • ciuch – a piece of clothing
  • cymes – delicacy, something very tasty
  • puryc – someone rich or influential
  • rejwach – noise, racket
  • szmonces – joke
  • ślamazara – slow, phlegmatic person
  • plajta – bankruptcy

 

Afterwards, read out these three phrases in Hebrew:

  • Thank you – toda!
  • Happy Birthday – Mazel tov!
  • I love you – anee ohev otakh – to a girl (pronunciation: ani ohev otach)
    anee ohevet otkha – to a boy (pronunciation: ani ohevet otcha)

 

Ask the children to repeat the important phrases. When they can pronounce them correctly, ask them to sit at their tables. Their task is to create a card:

  • A thank you card (on which the child will write or glue the expression “Thank you”)
  • A birthday card (on which the child will write or glue the expression “Happy birthday”)
  • A greeting card (on which the child will write or glue the expression “I love you”)

 

Have fun!

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