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Yiddishland Afterschool Art Immersion Programs


While we were verklempt to pack up and shutter our downtown La Jolla cultural center after almost three wonderful years there, we are excited to now focus on the creation of cross-border Yiddish arts and culture projects. We are also busy digitizing our collection and growing our network in our new abode in Baja California. As we schlep between Mexico and the US, we find communities in need of artistic and cultural engagement. With this in mind, we are developing a Yiddishland art-immersion program for children and families on both sides of the border.

We are committed to the preservation and advancement of Yiddish language and culture. Globally, cultural identity is changing rapidly, and sometimes we lose the beauty of personal, familial, and societal meaning. If human continuity were a tree, the children of the world would be its fresh branches and Yiddish would be one of its nourishing roots.

Over the past few years, we hosted multigenerational classes for families and welcomed children into our gallery in La Jolla. With this strategy, children gained tools to integrate art into their lives as a way of understanding culture, as well as to develop their social communication skills. This Fall we are hoping to pilot an arts-centered extracurricular program in Baja California and San Diego, joining an already vibrant cross-border cultural exchange. We have scouted suitable locations in Punta Banda and in San Diego, and may also add online options.

We do not schlep alone. Our international team of artists, educators, performers, interns, and volunteers is working around the clock to keep Yiddishland going. Miriam Libhaber – our featured artist–who was born in Mexico City to a Yiddish-speaking family and recently relocated to San Diego – is serendipitously available to teach in our afterschool program this fall. Her dedication to Jewish art is sure to inspire young hearts and minds. Miriam’s artwork and biography are available in our virtual gallery.

Pablo Picasso proclaimed that every child is an artist. We will add that every child is an art critic as well. Appreciation of the arts, culture, and traditions begins very early in life. Our teachers will guide all participants to learn, imagine, and develop their creativity and analytical skills through visual arts, drama, and music. Parents and caretakers can be as involved as they wish and are able.. Instruction will be in English and Spanish, depending on students’ knowledge and interest.

To carry out this valuable project, we need your support and participation.

There are a few ways we accept tzedakah, which are listed below. The Yiddish Arts and Academics Association of North America (YAAANA) is a registered nonprofit in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the IRC as Yiddish Arts and Academics of N America INC. Our EIN is 85-2064877. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Thank you! A sheynem dank!

*Donations on GoFundMe are fee-free; enter “0” for the tip.