Where do modern Jewish literature and culture fit in your classroom?

Like all great books, the most powerful works of modern Jewish literature are windows into the experiences of others and mirrors that help us reflect on ourselves. This site is designed to support teachers who want to share this rich material with their students.

This month, we’re featuring Yiddish texts that push at the boundaries of—or openly defy—traditional gender roles. Anna Margolin’s poem “I Once Was a Youth” disrupts expectations with its ambiguously-gendered speaker. The narrator of Miriam Karpilove’s novel Diary of a Lonely Girl rejects the demands of men as she navigates dating in turn-of-the-century New York City. And Isaac Bashevis Singer’s classic story “Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy” explores questions of identity, sexuality, and gender through the story of a young woman who dresses (and passes) as a man in order to pursue religious study. If you’re looking to bring a discussion of evolving gender norms into your classroom, check out these compelling resources.

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