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When Jesus Spoke Yiddish: Translating the Gospels for Jews

This course was offered in Winter/Spring, 2018.

Among the many translations of the New Testament, those directed at Jews present a particular set of challenges and opportunities. This lecture traces the four-hundred-year history of the Yiddish translation of the New Testament. While early translators, typically Jewish converts to Christianity, kept close to Luther’s German, in the twentieth century Yiddish translations moved toward a more idiomatic, Jewish, and “juicy” Yiddish. Dr. Seidman will explore how and why translators changed their approach, and what this move says about broader trends in modern Jewish culture, Yiddish literary style, and Jewish–Christian relations.


# Sessions
Date & time

Sunday, April 29
1:30 pm

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Apr 29 1:30 PM–3:00 PM Sun Jewish Community Library Naomi Seidman


Jewish Community Library

1835 Ellis Street

San Francisco, CA 94115


The Library is located between Scott and Pierce on the campus of the Jewish Community High School. There is a free and secure parking garage accessible from Pierce Street; buzz the intercom, announce that you’re coming to the Library, and the gate will go up. For more information call (415) 567-3327.


Naomi Seidman

Naomi Seidman Prof. Naomi Seidman is Koret Professor of Jewish Culture and Director of the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Her first book, A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish, appeared in 1997. Her second, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, was published in 2006.