Yiddish is a Germanic language that's been spoken for centuries by European Jews. Though the number of Yiddish speakers has been steadily declining since the end of World War II, some schools, like the University of Maryland, still teach it.
But one school is closing its door on Yiddish courses. University of Maryland's Center for Jewish Studies recently announced it will drop its Yiddish program starting this fall. Hayim Lapin, the center's director, says it can no longer afford to have a full-time faculty member dedicated to teaching Yiddish. Lapin says declining returns from University endowments, along with limited student interest in the classes, led to the decision.
The group Yiddish of Greater Washington started a letter-writing campaign encouraging the university to reconsider.