We deeply mourn the untimely death of our long-term colleague and friend Anatoly (Naftola) Kerzhner. He was only 41 years old.
Anatoly lived in the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa. From the age of 18, he participated for 15 years in the annual Yiddish and Yiddishite summer seminars held by the World Council for Yiddish Culture.
Anatoly perfectly learned Yiddish, taught it himself, developed teaching materials, translated literature. He was the author of the first Yiddish textbook for beginners, with explanations in Ukrainian.
For several years Anatoly worked in the historical section of the Jewish culture cabinet at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev. There he also began work on a dissertation on the life and work of the Jewish writer Reuven Brainin.
Anatoly worked closely with our Center, took an active part in most of our programs in Ukraine, and also came to our seminars in Vilnius. He led a religious life. In recent years, he often traveled to the townships of Ukraine, did a lot to preserve the Jewish material and cultural heritage, especially in the Podolia region, was a regular contributor to Jewish publications in Ukraine.
To our great regret, another person with a warm Jewish heart, and at the same time, a modest, kind, hard worker, left for the world.
Zol er hobn and lichtik ganeidn!
זאָל ער האָבן אַ ליכטיקן גן-עדן!