Monday, February 24, 2014

Even though years go by there are some things that you never forget, they just stay with you. What I'm thinking about today is a Yiddish group that I conducted at a Jewish day care center about thirty-five years ago.

I've always enjoyed speaking Yiddish. My grandmother lived with my family when I was a little girl. Fortunately for me she preferred speaking her "mother tongue" so when I wanted to communicate with her I had to speak Yiddish.

Over the years I've always looked for a group or class where I could use my Yiddish. When I spent my winters in Florida I found a synagogue, a temple or a community center where I could spend an enjoyable few hours using "my mother tongue."

Well right now I don't remember what inspired me to start that Yiddish group so many years ago but I can tell you it was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable undertakings that I have ever experienced.

In those days there were still many Jewish people that could speak Yiddish and because their physical or mental needs necessitated they spend some of their time at the center, they came looking for companionship and activities.

From the first day that I conducted "my class" they were hooked and so was I! The group consisted of about twelve people, I got them speaking Yiddish, laughing and singing. The day that I was getting ready to go to the class I had a spring in my step and when I left the group I was flying high! I still remember walking out of the center feeling like a million bucks!

So many years have gone by and I still have that warm feeling when I speak Yiddish.

Here at Brooksby they have a Winter program called "Live and Learn" where residents are invited to participate in a program of residents teaching residents.

A bell went off in my head, "why don't I offer a class in "Yiddish Conversation." I did not have any idea of how many people would be interested in signing up but I really wanted to give it a try. I did emphasize that I would not be a teacher but we would help each other find the "right word."

We have met for two classes so far and what a group we have!!! There are four people in the group that speak a good Yiddish, one lady brought in some good old Yiddish songs that we have sung, one lady brought in a huge Jewish dictionary that helps us when we can't think how to say a word, and a couple of men have contributed some humor.

So far, so good. I signed up to conduct four sessions. Two more to go. We have had some laughs, sung some songs and reminisced.


A few weeks ago I had some health issues and many tests - "seek and they shall find" - well, they found something that needs to be taken care of so in a few weeks I'll be off to the hospital "to be taken care of."

My group wants more "Yiddish" so we are all looking forward to talking a blue streak when we get together again!

Watch more Millie's Yiddish Class videos here.

You many age but your fun personality never changes! You make me try to see the world through a more lilting frame of mind.
Lovely, Millie!

You certainly know how to enjoy life!

I'll be on the lookout for a knish to sample - a heys one. :)

Many blessings to you during and after your procedure.
Your post exemplified the joy of teaching, the joy of serving, the joy of being part of a group. You are a wonderful example to all of us on how to age. Thank you.
I am always amazed at the seemingly endless well of energy and interest you have, Millie!! We should all have it. I will keep good thoughts for you about your "fixing up" and hope it goes well. Please keep us posted.
All my good wishes that the fixing up goes well. I know the feeling when they say there is some fixing to do.

You make me smile and almost wish I was near you to spend time with you and your interests.
Good luck and my prayers on your upcoming
I just came across your blog and it's great. I work at an assisted living community and I am always looking for inspiring blogs to pass along to our vibrant residents. I'll be sure to let them know about your blog and what is possible
Now I have a few Yiddish words to add to my vocabulary!

You will be in my thoughts as you prepare for the "fixing up."
Hi Millie,
I enjoyed your post with the heys knish. We use the material from yesterday for today and it turns out to be NEW!
I want to wish you an easy time for your new maintenance job and an easy recovery.
So now I'll say "Shalom!" which means good bye with a little Hello in the meaning too!
Do you have any Knishes?
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