Leave the classroom and studio behind and come outside to the Helix Project: a fresh, revolutionary approach to cultural history. Helix is an immersive residential summer program that transforms scholars, artists, and activists into cultural archaeologists.
The Helix Project has been growing in depth and breadth since we launched in 2011. Starting in 2016, Helix expanded to unfold over two years of collective study, community building, and cultural exploration. In Year One Helixers gather together for a 10–day intensive seminar at the end of summer, just prior to the start of the academic year. In Year Two, the program culminates with Yiddishkayt’s trademark immersive arts and culture residency, traveling to Europe during the month of July. Over the course of these two residential summers, students, artists, and scholars immerse themselves in regions that for centuries sustained a vibrant and dynamic multi-ethnic civilization before the genocidal devastation of the twentieth century.
Each part of the program is curated and led by leading scholars of history, literature, politics, and the arts, as well as young cultural activists and Helix alumni. In August 2018, Helix participants gather for their first residential colloquium in Southern California. There, they take intensive courses in the languages, history, and culture of Eastern European life, while also learning and practicing methods of mindful listening and discussion, all skills necessary for our unorthodox style of study and travel. Over the 2018-2019 academic year, Helixers collaborate online and in person to launch new artistic projects inspired by the themes and figures they encounter during the summer. The Helix learning and creating community is supported by a regular digital seminar in language and culture designed by Yiddishkayt’s expert faculty. In July 2019 Helixers set out for a life-changing journey in the Central and Eastern European borderlands.