On November 9-10, 2017, a regional seminar "Yiddish and Jewish culture in XXI century" was held in Rosario, an Argentinian city located 300 km north to Buenos Aires.
More than 120 people from Rosario and the neighbouring cities of Moisesville and Paraná took part in the event. The seminar is a result of cooperation between WJC International Yiddish Center and IWO Argentina institute. The seminar met its goals in promoting awareness of Yiddish language and culture among a diverse audience. This was the first activity of the program in the Kehilá community and elicited much interest.
The opening speech was given by Jaime Dworetsky, the president of the Asociación Israelita de Beneficencia – Kehila de Rosario who welcomed the IWO team and thanked WJC YC for its cooperation and support.
The key talk "1000 years of Yiddish – language, gastronomy, and folklore" was given by Professor Abraham Lichtenbaum. It focused on the importance of Ashkenazi culture and its contribution to Jewish culture. It presented key concepts in Jewish linguistics, gastronomy, music and identity.
Prof. Lichtenbaum began its talk explaining the history and sometimes unexpected etymology of a few Yiddish words that are related to daily life practices, religion, music and philosophy. He explained the shaping of Ashkenazi identity as a interweaving of ethical thoughts, daily life practices and art forms.
The singer Mijal Orlian performed Yiddish and Jewish liturgical songs, whereas Abraham Lichtenbaum provided explanatory commentaries.
The second day begun with the lecture "Sholom Aleichem: humor in literature", in which Prof. Lichtenbaum described the life and work of Sholom Aleichem in the context of Jewish history, recited fragments of his works, analysed the tools by which the author creates humor, and explained the relevance of his messages for our time.
In his closing remarks Abraham Lichtenbaum emphasized the role of IWO in preserving and communicating Jewish and Yiddish culture and thanked the Yiddish Center for supporting this program and for recognizing the importance of encouraging Jewish life and helping to provide opportunities for participation to the communities that are far from the center where the major organizations are located.Both the participants and the Kehila authorities expressed their gratitude and interest in hosting a new edition of a WJC YC and IWO seminar early in 2018.