Kometz-alef: oh! Back to School at the Yiddish Kheyder


Kometz-alef: oh! Back to School at the Yiddish Kheyder 

an exhibition by Miriam Borden

Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, Toronto

May 7-July 31, 2018

Inspired by the kheyder, the traditional form of Jewish elementary education in Eastern Europe, this exhibit invites visitors to imagine themselves as pupils learning at the Yiddish kheyder, where they can explore some of the basic skills required to engage with Yiddish: how to read it, how to write it, how to speak it, and how to identify what it looks and sounds like. In this kheyder, The University of Toronto libraries’ rich Yiddish collection will be the melamed (teacher). On display, you’ll find everything from children’s primers to doctoral dissertations, with interactive activities throughout.


The exhibition cases are located in the lobby of the ground floor, surrounding the escalators. The exhibit will be open May 7-July 31 during regular library hours. It is open to the public, free of charge, and is wheelchair accessible. Water fountains and washrooms are located immediately beside the exhibition space.


Please note that during the summer, Robarts' hours are as follows:


Monday - Thursday 8:30 am - 11:00 pm

Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm


Come take a look – and learn something! | Kum gib a kukun lern zikh epes! | ‫‫‫‫קום גיב א קוק – און לערן זיך עפעס!


This exhibition is generously sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, the Al and Malka Green Yiddish Studies Program, and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. It draws on the holdings of the University of Toronto library system and the documentary resources held at the Ontario Jewish Archives Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre.


About the curator: Miriam Borden is an incoming Yiddish PhD student at the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. She is the Coordinator for UJA Federation’s Committee for Yiddish, and a tour guide for the Ontario Jewish Archives’ Stories of Spadina walking tour of historic Kensington Market. Last summer, she co-curated the Robarts exhibition “Discovering the Mame-loshn: The Hidden World of Yiddish at Robarts.” To learn more, visit www.discoveringyiddish.com.