Fundraiser for Endangered Jewish Languages
We're running out of time to save 2,000 years of history
Throughout history Jews have spoken dozens of languages, many of which are now critically endangered. To preserve these languages for the future, now is the time to act.
The Jewish Language Project, Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and Wikitongues are teaming up to bring you this unique campaign to support ongoing efforts that document and safeguard Jewish languages around the world. In 2,000 years, there have been dozens of Jewish languages, each reflecting unique histories of migration and resilience. However, Jewish linguistic diversity was nearly destroyed by migrations and violence in the 20th century, as ancient communities across Europe, Africa, and Asia were displaced. Today, with the exception of Yiddish, Ladino, and revitalized Hebrew, long-standing Jewish languages are under-documented, under-resourced, and spoken by aging populations, with few public resources to keep these languages alive. In other words, Jewish linguistic diversity—and all the history it represents—is critically endangered, with little time to safeguard it for the next generation. If not now, when?
The funds raised during this campaign will be used towards:
- Recording and safeguarding oral histories by fluent speakers
- Making audiovisual recordings publicly accessible online through YouTube
- Editing, captioning and subtitling videos so they are multilingual and useful for educational and research purposes
- Collecting data and recording audio to create Living Dictionaries in multiple endangered Jewish languages
- Training the next generation of language activists to continue this documentation and revitalization work for years to come.
Learn more about this project:
View a short film below, entitled "Jewish Languages: From One Generation to the Next" by Alan Niku
Speakers: Rochelle Ginsburg, Robert Carlson, Huguette Galante, Sarah Sabin, Narges Esmailzadeh, Davita Danesh, Massoud Tavakoli, Alan Niku.
Directed and edited by Alan Niku
Executive producers: Sarah Bunin Benor, Alan Niku
Introduction narration by Sarah Bunin Benor
Assistant producers: Daniel Bögre Udell, Anna Luisa Daigneault, Hannah Pressman
Co-sponsor: USC Casden Institute