Kiev seminar for teachers of Jewish kindergartens and primary schools

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On February 19-21, 2018 WJC International Yiddish Center and Jewish Forum of Ukraine held a seminar in Kiev, intended for teachers of Jewish kindergartens and primary schools of Ukraine. Four WJC YC representatives – its academic director Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky, Dr. Natalia Ryndiuk, Anna Sorokina-Ginzburg, and Tetyana Batanova – took part in this event as lecturers.

The participants had an opportunity to familiarize with the Yiddish cultural heritage, in order to further use this knowledge in their pedagogical activities.

Diverse subjects on educating Jewish youth had been touched during the seminar: "Pedagogical and educational aspects of Yiddish culture", "Character of a child in Yiddish folklore and literature", "Jewish family through the Yiddish perspective", "Creation of entertaining surroundings in Yiddish", "Canon of Jewish poetry for children – does it exist? Familiarizing with Jewish children poets" and others.

Tetyana Batanova's two lectures were dedicated to the following topics: "Past and present of Yiddishland – how to present it to children?", "Useful contemporary means for teaching Yiddish, internet resources and encyclopedias in educational work". Both lectures included notes on linguistic and cultural history of Yiddish and "Yiddishland", its importance in Jewish education and contemporary Ukrainian schooling. All the participants also received a list of useful Yiddish Internet study and research resources.

Dr. Natalia Ryndiuk's talk was dedicated to the topic "Children – our future: Yiddish periodicals in 1920-1930s in Ukraine". It included notes to development of the Soviet children education and Yiddish periodicals in Ukraine before the World War II: the first children's Yiddish magazine in the USSR "Freyd" (a special literary and popular science magazine for young pioneers) and "Oktiaberl" (magazine for junior Leninists). The lecture was illustrated with numerous samples of pages and photos of other editions ("Apikoyres", "Pioner", etc.).

Anna Sorokina-Ginzburg lectured at our seminar for the first time. After graduating from Moscow State University, she completed internship at Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York. Currently she is teaching Yiddish at Moscow JCC. The audience accepted her lecture very warmly.

The seminar was attended by nearly 25 Jewish school teachers, Jewish educators, and employees of Jewish communities. All of them got certificates of completion of the seminar "Pearls of Yiddish Culture". According to the participants' feedback, all the lecturers appeared very professionally, provided their lectures in a captivating friendly manner and triggered lively discussions.

Thus the seminar became one of the important steps in the process of reviving Yiddish culture and language in Ukraine.