The International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress participated for the first time in the session of the "Sambation" project, held on June 11 – 15, 2017 in the vicinity of the city of Dnipro, Ukraine (aka Dnipropetrovsk, former Yekaterinoslav).
"Sambation" is an annual joint program of the "Genesis" Philanthropy Group, Jewish Agency for Israel „Sochnut" in cooperation with the International Centre for Academic Teaching of Jewish Civilization in Jerusalem. The last session was intended to carrying out Jewish studies for students and school teachers of Ukraine.
The goal of the "Sambation" is to trigger creative youth communities to get interested in Jewish traditions, language and culture, to explore spiritual and material Jewish heritage, to encourage young generation to research their own family history independently.
Our center was represented by two lecturers: Tatyana Batanova (Yiddish teacher at the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy") and Yulia Smilianska (director of the Judaica Institute in Kiev).
Batanova's classes dealt with such topics as "Yiddish – Zhargon or Mame-loshn (Mother's Tongue): Notes to the History" (two lectures) and "The Geography of Yiddishland: Shtetl in History and Yiddish Literature" (one lecture). All her lectures included notes to linguistic and cultural history of Yiddish and Jews in Central-Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine, to old historical documents and works in Yiddish, names of shtetls, shaping of Yiddish geography. The lectures were conducted in a friendly dialogue manner, with questions, answers, jokes and singing in Yiddish. The audience was motivated to learn more about Yiddish language, culture and history. Some 30 participants attended her lectures.
The first lecture of Yulia Smilianska "Yiddishland. History of Jews in south Ukrainian land" was held on June 11 and was a plenary one for the whole course of the classes (74 persons). The lecture was devoted to history, culture, life mode and Jewish education in the communities of south Ukrainian cities - Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro), Nikolayev, Kherson, work of Jewish schools, where teaching was mainly conducted in Yiddish. The audience comprised students, teachers and instructors.
The second lecture "History of Jewish agricultural Colonies in South of Ukraine" (June 12) was provided as a group lesson for 21 schoolchildren.We received most excited and grateful feedbacks from the teachers and students.