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JTS Scholar-In-Residence Shabbat with Dr. David Fishman: The Jews of Ukraine

Past Sessions
Saturday, October 28, 2023 13 Cheshvan 5784 - 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM - Kol Rinah
Friday, October 27, 2023 12 Cheshvan 5784 - 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM - Kol Rinah
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When Ukraine Was the Center of the Jewish World  
For more than two hundred years, between 1700 and 1917, Ukraine was the greatest center of Jewish creativity in the world. It was the birthplace and heartland of Hasidism, the bastion of the Haskalah movement (Jewish enlightenment) and the headquarters of Zionism. The greatest Yiddish and Hebrew writers lived in Ukraine – Sholem Aleichem, Ahad Ha’am, and Chaim Nachman Bialik. The Ukrainian Jew emerged as a distinct cultural type. We will explore the lost world of this vibrant past.
Shabbat Services “Sermon Slot” of Parashat Lekh Lekha:
Abraham’s Travails: Ukrainian Jewry Under Soviet Rule (1917-1991) 
Twice in history , the Soviets rescued Ukrainian Jews from mass murder – from the pogroms of 1919, and from the Nazi Holocaust. Under the Soviets, Jewish suffering was more moral and social than physical. There were no pogroms, but there was popular hostility and large-scale discrimination. Jews were legally equal, but most forms of Jewish life were suppressed and Israel was vilified. How did Jews make in through this 70 year travail?
Shabbat Lunch:
Renewal and Crisis: Ukrainian Jews since the Fall of the Soviet Union (1991-present)
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian Jewry has experienced two paradoxical trends – massive emigration (to Israel, the US and Germany) and the revival of Jewish life in Ukraine itself. The election of a Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in 2019, signaled the improved position of Jews in Ukrainian society. When the Russians attacked, in February 2022, the country was led by a Jewish president, defense minister and head of the presidential administration. Hundreds of ‘olim returned to Ukraine to fight for the country
and provide humanitarian aid. The twists and turns of Ukrainian Jewish history never cease to surprise.  
David E. Fishman is a professor of Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in modern Jewish history. He is an expert on Ukrainian Jewry and directs JTS’s Project Judaica, which runs an academic program in Jewish Studies at the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and publishes guides to materials on Jewish history in Russian and Ukrainian archives. 
Dr. Fishman is the author of numerous books and articles on the history and culture of East European Jewry. His most recent book, The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis (ForeEdge, 2017) was the recipient of the Jewish Book Council’s 2017 National Jewish Book Award.  The Book Smugglers has been hailed as "Monuments Men for book lovers" and "first rate scholarship that pulses with the beat of a most human heart." 
Dr. Fishman is a dynamic and engaging teacher and has taught in diverse Jewish communities across North America. 
This program is sponsored by the Hereld Institute for Jewish Studies of JTS and the Leo and Sara Wolf Adult Education Fund
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Mon, December 11 2023 28 Kislev 5784