Pearls of Yiddish culture in Pärnu, Estonia

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On September 7-9, 2018 a broad educational program was held in Pärnu by the Estonian Jewish community "Yakhad" (Together). The International Yiddish Center at the World Jewish Congress took part in such event for the third year in a row.

This time WJC YC was represented by its academical director, Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky, and the clarinettist Mikhail Blinkov who appeared with the "Klezmasters" ensemble.

The goal of the "Yakhad" forum was to bring together Jews of all ages from all over Estonia and to provide them with a place and opportunity to share their views, opinions, questions and problems regarding all areas of Jewish life in Estonia.

This year, the traditional format of such forum was maintained with lectures, concerts, discussions, thematical workshops and classes for children in an open and friendly atmosphere.

Since the event took place on the eve of Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year), Dr. Yushkovsky's first lecture dealt with the "Holy and everyday life in Yiddish literature and folklore". The role of religious holidays and traditions in formation of Yiddish literature was being discussed. The listeners got acquainted with the works of Y. L. Peretz, S. Ash, Y. Opatoshu and other authors devoted to that topic.

His second lecture, "Yiddish culture as an arsenal of national and universal historical memory", was devoted to topical aspects of Yiddish culture and caused a lively discussion between listeners who recalled those times when Yiddish still sounded on the streets of their cities, giving special charm and multicultural component of life in the three Baltic republics.

The participants expressed their desire to listen to our lectures in the framework of Yahad in the future.

Afterwards we received an invitation to appear with a similar program in the Jewish community of Latvia.