On October 14 – 17, 2018 The International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress alongside with JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) regional branches, organized a seminar about Yiddish culture for directors of Heseds and Jewish community centers from various cities of the former Soviet Union.
Organizing such event was a rather complicated issue due to its very wide geography, various needs of the participants and very hectic program. Although there occurred various technical problems and emergencies, the audience does not seem to have felt any discomfort.
The WJC YC representatives – its academic director, Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky, Dr. Vilma Gradinskaite and Dr. Lara Lempert immersed the participants into Yiddish heritage in art and in linguistic resources of interwar period in Lithuania. Their lectures had been creatively illustrated by visual aid, which nicely decorated their appearance.
Here are the topics of Dr. Yushkovsky's talks: "Yiddish culture as a treasury of national and universal historical memory"; "Chapters of the history of Yiddish literature in the USSR"; "The Jewish heart: mercy in Yiddish literature and folklore" and "Secrets of Yiddish humor".
In addition, a lecture "Between Hasidism and Litvaks" was provided by the leader of the participants group, Assaf Kani'el - Director of Jewish Education and Community Centers, FSU Department of JDC.
The cherry on the cake was the lecture-concert with appearance of violinist Boris Kirzner and singer & guitarist Mikhail Yablonsky, which was accompanied by Dr. Yushkovsky's literary and historic comments. The audience could not help joining their appearance – so inspiring it was.
Here are some of the participants' feedbacks, as received by us:
Elizaveta Sherstiuk: "Many thanks to the organizers for the excellently elaborated seminar. The program is very interesting and well considered! Lectors are remarkable, subjects of the lectures are exciting and interesting. Wish such seminars to be carried out at least once a year".
Inessa Nosenko: "Emotions – wonderful. Exciting. Results – very important lectures and knowledge. Wish to have such online lectures, in order those, who have no possibility to take part in such seminars, could see them on the internet. My gratitude!"