Here in Berlin, Yiddish is alive and kicking. In early 2022, as the pandemic was subsiding, I started the “Shmues un Vayn” group, which has met twice per month ever since to socialize and drink wine while speaking only Yiddish. By now, the group – which is affiliated with Yiddish.Berlin – includes more than 90 Berlin-based Yiddish speakers from a variety of backgrounds, and about a dozen of us show up to an average gathering.
We have also co-hosted special events such as a Third Seder on Passover, picnics and lake swims, a “pub crawl” station during the Shtetl Berlin festival, and a street party during the 2022 Yiddish in Berlin summer program.
I have also taken the format on the road when traveling, and have organized similar meetups in New York, Tel Aviv, Kraków, and Warsaw.
If you are a Yiddish speaker who lives in or plans to visit Berlin, contact me and I will let you know the upcoming dates.
We welcome Yiddish speakers of all levels, but from experience, you should have at least basic conversational Yiddish to attend, as we will not switch languages to explain things.
To announce each meeting of Shmues un Vayn to the group, I design a unique digital flyer. Occasionally, another member or guest artist will design one, not displayed below. Here are a selection of my favorites, with most of the meeting locations removed:
In summer 2022, during the Yiddish in Berlin summer program coordinated by the Paris Yiddish Center, we co-organized a collaborative Shmues un Vayn gathering that attracted many Yiddish students from the program and grew into a Yiddish-speaking street party (see the image below). For reasons of privacy, I have not included images of our regular gatherings on this page.