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Yiddish Institute

The Yiddish Institute at the Peretz Centre preserves and celebrates Yiddishkayt culture and the Yiddish language as the heritage of Eastern European Jews.

Fraytik Tsu Nakht - Shabbes for Cultural Jews 

At our monthly Friday night dinner (FTN), we honour the traditions of our ancestors by celebrating Shabbes together, but in our own way.

Services are run by volunteers on a rotating basis.

Doors open 6pm; service starts 6:15. 

We start with acknowledging the birthdays and anniversaries in the current month. We then read from our booklet,  do group singing, light candles/sip wine/taste bread or challah.


Sometimes we have a Dvar Torah and a Yiddish or Hebrew Word of the Month as well. Then we all say Shabbat Shalom/Gut Shabbes and enjoy some socializing while enjoying a pot-luck dinner. This is followed by a guest speaker on a wide variety of topics.



Yiddish Language Classes 

Come and enjoy learning one of the richest languages in the world: Yiddish!


Yiddish, the language of the Jewish people of Eastern Europe, incorporates elements from many different languages and was the inspiration for the international language, Esperanto. Re-acquaint yourself with your mameloshn or learn Yiddish as an additional language. Reading, conversation, songs and fun for all levels.






Zhargon - Yiddish Culture for all! 

What was Jewish life like in Eastern Europe? How did the political and economic upheavals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries change Eastern European culture, and how do these changes still inform historical and cultural memory today? How did the changes in traditional Jewish life relate to gender and the place of women in society (and importantly, how do we queer these historical narratives)? Who were the Bund, and what was their relation to socialist movements of the time? What is a Shtetl, and how was it distinct from other types of communal settlement in Europe? 




Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir

The largest, best, and ONLY Yiddish choir in Canada, the Vancouver Jewish Folk Choir performs the music of the Jewish people in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino and English, as well as the languages of other countries where Jews have lived.

The Choir performs for holiday celebrations and special events at the Peretz Centre and in the Jewish and mainstream communities. It also holds an annual Spring Concert each June.

Major works performed in recent years have included Rozhinkes mit mandlen, Yomervokhets (Jabberwocky), In Amerike, Benyomin der driter, Ikh bin a yid, Oyb nit nokh hekher, and excerpts from Di yam gazlonim (Pirates of Penzance, translated into Yiddish by Al Grand).


Kirman Library

The Kirman Library is an exceptional library which contains a treasure trove of Jewish literature, history, music, art, theatre, humour and many scholarly studies in English and Yiddish. English and Yiddish titles are regularly being added to the collection.

You may use the library whenever the Peretz Centre office is open. You may borrow four items at a time, for a period of four weeks, which may be renewed if no hold has been placed on the item. Bring the books you are borrowing or returning, to the office, so they can be checked out or in.

For more information about library policy in general, overdue or lost items policy, or to obtain a library card contact the Peretz Centre office.

If you wish to make a donation to the Kirman Library or have any questions or comments, please contact Al Stein: 604 731-1193 or

The Kirman Library is a proud member of the Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, Massachusetts.

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