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ANU Museum hosted Yiddish Fest for the first time

For many hundreds of years, Yiddish has been the basis of a rich and diverse culture, a unique Jewish identity. In December 2021, the ANU – Museum of the Jewish People hosted the Yiddish Fest with the support of the Nadav Foundation International Yiddish Center (WJC) and National Authority for Yiddish Culture in Israel. The Yiddish music, literature and language presented a real treasure of spiritual wealth of the people.

On December 2, the audience was captivated by the Frank Oz & The Jewish Jazz concert “Jewish Soul”, which combined several genres: Yiddish and Khazanut, pop and jazz, Sephardic and Mediterranean music. On December 6, the program of the gala concert included famous folk, author’s and modern songs in Yiddish performed by famous soloists: Vira Lozinsky, Marina Yakubovich, Michael Riskin and Michail Gaysinsky. The host of the concert was Mordehay Yushkovsky, Academic Director of the WJC Internatoional Yiddish center. Prior to the start of the concerts, an author’s excursion by Boris Brestovitsky “Jewish Humor” concerning one of the departments of a new exposition and a few observation excursions took place at the ANU museum.

On December 5, a literary evening was organized, within the framework of which two events were held. The first one was a conversation about the fate of the Yiddish culture and creative activities in that language with people who devoted their professional activities to the Yiddish culture. The discussion was moderated by the well-known stand-up and TV and radio presenter Ilia Akselrod. The discussion was attended by Dorit Golender, Vice President of the GPG, former Israeli Ambassador to Russia; Roza Litay, social activist, the daughter of Nechama Lifschitz; Diana Shapiro, the Yiddish language researcher; Leonid Roytman, researcher of Yiddish culture; Mordehay Yushkovsky. In the second part, famous Israeli actors Elena Yaralova and Michael Teplitsky performed literary works of poets and writers translated from Yiddish into Russian. Viewers heard excerpts from works by Sholom Aleihem, Isaac Leib Peretz, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Chaim Beider, Eli Beider, Moshe Teif and other writers. Each piece that was performed during the evening was a unique story of a person, author, town and generation, about whose fate Mordehay Yushkovsky told. And during the break, everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the traditional Jewish Ashkenazi food familiar from childhood.