On December 5 – 8, 2018 a seminar "Pearls of Yiddish Culture" for teachers of secondary schools and other educators from the Ukrainian town Sumy, took place in Vilnius. The event was jointly organized by the International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress and the Sumy Regional University of Postgraduate Education.
Two WJC YC representatives o: its academic director Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky and Tetyana Batanova (teacher of Yiddish at academic Jewish studies programmes at the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy" and junior scientific officer at Judaica department of V. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine) provided the lectures.
That was the second seminar during this year specially designed for educators from Sumy (the first one took place in that north-eastern Ukrainian town in June 2018). It was aimed to provide 25 teachers of history, literature and art with Jewish/Yiddish historical, cultural and linguistic knowledge.
Tetyana's two lectures were dedicated to the following topics: "Yiddish – jargon or mame-loshn (mother tongue): notes to the history" and "Ukrainian-Jewish relations in the light of poetry: Yiddish poets and their Ukrainian poets-translators".
All the participants received a presentation about Yiddish history in Europe and Ukraine, as well as references to useful Yiddish literature (translated into Ukrainian) and research resources. The lectures were conducted in a friendly manner, with questions, answers and jokes.
Dr. Yushkovsky provided four lectures, which touched various aspects of Yiddish culture. As befits to his classes, they are held in a very lively, witty manner.
The feedbacks were highly positive. Here are two of them.
"The seminar did inspire! It touched our deepest feelings. This is energy you gifted to us. Thank you for the possibility to make our lives richer due to filling it with spiritual Jewish heritage."
"Thank you for your kind hospitality. The cordial atmosphere of the seminar, profound presentations of the lecturers inspired us to study Yiddish and Jewish culture in general upon coming back to Ukraine. I personally have received deeper understanding of pain of Jewish nation, their tragedy and resilience, which reflect in poetry and cultural heritage".