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Yiddish is ‘vibrant’ Among Argentina’s 450, 000 Jews, Noted Author Reports

February 5, 1963
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The Yiddish language is “vibrant, alive and dynamic” among Argentina’s 450, 000 Jews, it was reported here today by Samuel Rollansky, noted Argentine Yiddish writer. Mr. Rollansky is visiting this country on behalf of the Yivo Literary Society which is currently in the process of publishing 100 books of Yiddish literature.

Illustrating the strength of the Yiddish language in Argentina, Mr, Rollansky cited the fact that there are in that country 110 elementary Yiddish schools, eight high schools, two teachers’ seminaries and one college for Yiddish high school teachers. Nearly 12, 000 students are enrolled in all of the schools, from elementary to college, and there are 700 teachers on the faculties.

An indication of the acceptance of Yiddish as a vital language by Argentine Jews, said Mr, Rollansky, is the fact that about 80 percent of all teachers are under the age of 30, and about 70 percent of them are native-born.

The Buenos Aires Jewish community, he said, pays about 40 percent of the Yiddish education budget annually, the rest of the funds coming from tuition and other fees. Students attend classes two and a half hours each day, five days a week. The Hebrew language is also taught in every Yiddish school at all levels. Additionally, there is a school where Hebrew only is taught.

Mr. Rollansky pointed out that the status of Yiddish is also illustrated by the fact that Argentina has two large daily Yiddish newspapers, one weekly, five monthlies and two quarterlies. One of the latter is devoted solely to philosophy, and is believed to be the only publication of its kind in the world.

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