Experts estimate there are between 1 million and 2 million native
Yiddish speakers in the world, but only about 500,000 speak it in the
home - mostly orthodox Jews. When YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
in New York City began offering summer programs in Yiddish in 1968,
they were the only such program in the world. Now, they compete with
summer intensive Yiddish programs in Tel Aviv, Israel; Ottawa, Canada;
Indiana and Arizona. About 20 colleges and universities in the U.S.
and Canada now offer some Yiddish courses. Other universities like
Johns Hopkins in the US and McGill University in Canada are working to
bring the language back, and with it, an appreciation for the rich
history of European Jewish culture and art.