When I ventured into the world of Yiddish the first person I met was Paula Teitelbaum. She introduced me to the Alef-Beys and she found a way to make it relatable, fun and completely manageable. I went from learning an entirely new alphabet to reading complete texts, such as folktales, poetry and songs, in Yiddish. This was my first encounter with Yiddish as both a language and culture and from there the sky has become the limit. – Yvette Ortiz, Student at the Bard College-YIVO Institute Summer Intensive Program in Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture
Paula Teitelbaum is a wonderful teacher of Yiddish language for all levels of learner. She is a fun and creative teacher, ever alive to her student’s needs, and bringing charm and humor to her teaching. As a native speaker, and a very experienced educator, she has unique ways of helping students form the sounds of the language so they can pronounce the words easily and correctly. I relish my classes with her, whether in person or online. – Steve Weintraub, Student at Workmen’s Circle and online
Paula Teitelbaum has taught a Yiddish conversation class for Yugntruf- Youth for Yiddish for the past several semesters. She has received excellent evaluations from her students as she is able to skillfully support and lead them in developing confidence and fluency. Ms. Teitelbaum’s approach is student-centered. She creates an environment for student participation by assigning them to prepare content for conversation by reading articles or news items they’ve selected from the Yiddish newspaper as well as other sources. After they report back to the class on what they have read she guides them to respond to and question one another while gently correcting their mistakes and encouraging them to correct each other. This results in the group becoming a Yiddish-speaking community of learners rather than a teacher-centered classroom. I highly recommend Paula as a language teacher as she has the warmth and intuitiveness to anticipate the needs of a wide range of learners. – Myra Mniewski, former Director, Yugntruf
Taking a Yiddish course from Paula Teitelbaum is more than just learning the language — it’s a universe of idioms, jokes, practical phrases, grammar, poetry and songs. Each class was thoroughly entertaining and alive, there was not a moment of boredom. Shortly after finishing the class, I began to hunt for street signs in Yiddish, school buses with Yiddish phrases on them, and of course trying to read the poetry of the Yiddish masters in the original. The class was invaluable and really fun. – Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin, Student at the Workmen’s Circle
My husband and I signed up for Yiddish class at the Workmen’s Circle last spring, where we had Paula as a teacher. We both started out as beginners (though we know Hebrew characters), but by the end of the course could have basic conversations and write simple sentences. Thanks to Paula’s engaging and patient instruction, we also left the class with a desire to learn more! – Leah Koenig (and Yoshie Fruchter), Students at Workmen’s Circle
Perl is one of my favorite Yiddish teachers! She creates a warm, engaging and supportive environment, with ample chance to converse. She brings interesting and diverse texts to read, from classic poetry to contemporary Yiddish newspaper articles. She’s also an important bearer of tradition, a unique link in her generation between the Old Country and contemporary life. A well-known and beautiful singer of traditional Yiddish songs, she frequently teaches and sings Yiddish songs in class. She’s a native Yiddish speaker who also speaks the important related languages of Polish and Russian (besides her working knowledge of Hebrew). She is a treasure of knowledge of Yiddish culture both past and present. And she’s a lot of fun! – Cantor Janet Leuchter, Greenburgh Hebrew Center, Dobbs Ferry, NY, Student at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
It is with great enthusiasm that I write about Paula Teitelbaum as a teacher and champion for a living Yiddish culture. In her many years as one of the founding faculty of KlezKamp, Paula Teitelbaum has shown herself to be a tireless advocate for the high standard with which Yiddish cultural pedagogy once inhabited American Jewish life.
With her warm and winning persona, Paula exudes the dynamic life affirming content of the Yiddish world into which she was born. Paula is a fluent native Yiddish speaker who has balanced contemporary teaching methodology with the timeless and traditional cultural continuity.
Her classes at KlezKamp — -Beginning Yiddish and Yiddish for Singers — have become the bedrock of the base cultural understanding for which KlezKamp is world renowned and are the primary destination for those who are serious about imbuing their language and performance skills with deeply hued and authentic content and context. – Henry Sapoznik, co-founder of Klezkamp, The Yiddish Folk Arts Program
We have been privileged to have Perl Teitelbaum as a teacher at the Midtown Workmen’s Circle School for two years. She is a passionate and skilled teacher who brings her deep knowledge and love of Yiddish language and culture to our children. Perl’s lessons blend song, games, and discussions sparked by students’ questions. She not only builds Yiddish literacy, but helps children and adults see the relevance and power of learning Yiddish today. – Beth Zasloff
Director, Midtown Workmen’s Circle School
After your wonderful summer class as part of YIVO, I knew I wanted to continue working with you as my private instructor and as my coach for Yiddish songs. You’re a patient and kind teacher who clearly has a total mastery of the ins and outs of Yiddish, and you don’t keep anything a mystery. Everything is clear and upfront, logical and fun. – Ben Matis, cantor, student at Bard College – YIVO Institute Summer Intensive Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Cultuer
Paula Teitelbaum, or, as we Yiddish students know her, Perele, is an inspiring teacher and enthusiastic guide for those of us (like myself) who remembered just words and phrases from beloved relatives long gone…..But yearned to know more. Our class at Workmen’s Circle was certainly diverse, from Polish and German enthusiasts to young students seeking to learn about a culture that they only heard about. It was obvious to me that Perele reached all the students. She used games, songs, Web sites, poems, and textbooks in her lessons. Even though many of us were neophytes, we were chatting in Yiddish the first class. And I was thrilled to be reading within the first few weeks. I both enjoyed and learned from Perele’s warmth, dedication, and knowledge of languages and have recommended her to friends and relatives interested in learning the joys of Yiddish. – Barbara Winard, student at Workmen’s Circle
This summer I had the great opportunity of taking Yiddish classes with Perl (Paula) Teitelbaum. My experience with her was very good because she taught us difficult grammar topics such as, different forms of articles and adjectives in context. I learned Yiddish by singing, reading stories and talking. – Tamara Gleason-Freiberg, Mexico City, Student at the Bard-YIVO Summer Intensive Program in Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture.