cheder (CHEH-dehr) listen
cheder (CHEY-der) listen


  • n. 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


  • 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


      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


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

      Alternative Spellings

      kheyder, kheder, cheyder, khayder, chayder


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

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