Yiddish at the contemporary Jewish festival in Yekaterinburg

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On September 27-30, 2018 a festival of contemporary Jewish culture took place in Yekaterinburg - the largest city of Ural (Central Russia). The International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress had its representative Anna Sorokina-Ginzburg there.

The main objective of the festival was to manifest the significance of the development of the modern Jewish community of Yekaterinburg as a part of a multicultural society.

In its framework, Anna provided two lectures at the regional library named after Vissarion Belinsky (a Russian literary critic of the 19th century). She covered the following topics:

* Jewish holidays in Yiddish folklore and literature.

* Notes by travelers to "Yiddishland" - memoirs of Yiddish culture.

The first session dealt with the traditions associated with Jewish autumn holidays such as Yom Kippur, Sukkoth, Hoshana Raba and Simchat Tora. From Sholom Aleichem's short stories, memoirs of Bella Chagall (the artist Marc Chagall's wife), oral historic samples and short video clips the audience learned typical Yiddish phrases related to the above-mentioned events.

At the second class, the public continued getting acquainted with the East-European Jewish culture. The participants were exposed to the memoirs, personal diaries and essays of Chaim Weitzman, Benjamin Brand, Yehuda Amichai and Amos Oz, from which they learnt about the role of the Yiddish language in the Jewish life in the 20th century. The audience also learnt about other languages and cultures that affected the lives of the above-mentioned persons, who made a valuable contribution to the Jewish people's culture and history.

After graduating from Moscow State University, Sorokina-Ginzburg completed the internship at Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York. Currently she is teaching Yiddish at Moscow JCC.