Lern vegn undzere yerushe*

Meaning: To learn about our heritage in Yiddish

From topics ranging from Yiddish language, Jewish history and folklore to Jewish criminals and so much more, Janie Respitz has been teaching all things Jewish at the Cummings Centre for close to 30 years. “I am passionate about all aspects of the Jewish experience,” says Janie. “I find the topics fascinating.”

Janie Respitz

She can often be found beginning her classes singing a Yiddish Folk song while strumming her guitar or recounting a folk story describing the Shtetl experience. “The Jewish people have such a rich history and culture that I want to share with my students,” says Janie.

Interesting classes

Creating stimulating, interesting classes is a pure joy for Janie and she encourages class participation. “I love the back and forth discussions with the students as I learn so much from them,” says Janie. “Especially heartwarming are the many stories participants tell about their own families and historical events they witnessed.”

History of Jewish Humour

Janie is now hard at work putting together the curriculum for her new course – The History of Jewish Humour, set for January. “I am very excited about this new course which will focus on how Jews use humour in various situations and throughout different periods of history.”

– Janie Respitz

The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.