Dan Nosowitz has a wonderful Atlas Obscura post called “Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent”; here’s a bit of it:
But is really a religious or ethnic thing? Can we call it a “Jewish accent” rather than, say, a “New York accent”?
Scholars say, yes, there is an American Jewish accent, but it’s complicated. “Intonation has kind of been the red-headed stepchild of linguistics, where for a lot of time there was debate about whether or not it’s really part of the linguistic system, or whether it was something else overriding it, essentially,” says Burdin. It’s only been about 15 years since linguists—just a few of them, really—have begun systematically attempting to study the rhythm, timbre, intonations, stresses, and pauses of speech, and the study is still in its infancy. It is particularly murky territory in English, where melody is not as important as it is in other languages. But there are some groups whose speech, long having been described as sing-songy, is suddenly of interest to researchers breaking new ground in the study of prosody. Appalachian English is one of those. And Jewish English is another.
It describes the Mel Brooks-style version, then continues:
The other major American Jewish English accent comes from the more observant communities of Jews, the Orthodox and the Hasidim. This is sometimes known as “Yeshivish,” coming from the word “yeshiva,” generally referring to the schools for the organized study of Jewish holy texts. Yeshivish, like the more secular Jewish English of Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, has some ties to New York City, but is much more heavily influenced by Yiddish. Many of its most distinctive elements are actually exceedingly, almost unimaginatively direct translations of Yiddish phrases and intonations.
I love the word “Yeshivish,” and I love the illustrative videos, and the whole thing makes me intensely nostalgic for New York. Go, read, watch, enjoy, you won’t regret it!