cheder

Alternative Spellings

kheyder, kheder, cheyder, khayder, chayder

Definitions

  • Hebrew and religious classes (often on Sundays) for elementary school children.

Example Sentences

  • When I was a kid we went to cheder on Sunday morning and two afternoons a week
  • Their school's so run down, it's almost like a cheder! (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Yiddish חדר kheyder, from Hebrew חדר cheder room. The Yiddish word refers to a type of elementary school education in Eastern Europe.

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage

Regions

Great Britain

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

Another expansion of the cheder today is the Jewish day school (Rosten).

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