REPORT ON ACTIVITY
OF JEWISH STUDIES INSTITUTE
Jewish Studies Institute (Kyiv) conducts research,
organizes and holds conferences, seminars, public lectures,
exhibitions, publishes books and other printing materials
I. RESEARCH PROJECTS
1. Description of Jewish Funds and Materials in Ukraine's Archives.
Archives of Ukraine were searched and materials collected on the life of Jews in 1945-1953.
Materials of 1944-60 on Jewish questions were found and studied:
at the State Archive of Ternopil region: education, jobs, religion, economic activities;
at the Lviv regional archive - prosecutor's office fund - economic crimes of the 60-ies; funds of educational establishments (university, medical institute, polytechnic institute);
at the Central State Archive of Kyiv - materials of 1944-56 in the Kyiv press, information on Jewish religious holidays, «illegal prayer meetings», references and resolutions on moving Jews out to the Far East, orders on their dismissals from the Kyiv conservatory, of employment and dismissals (Russian Drama Theater), statistic lists on the ethnic composition of the Kyiv philharmonic society;
at the National Vernadsky Library - responses on the «doctors»' case, information on illegal Jewish communities of Kuzbass.
2. Metropolitan A.Sheptytsky and actions of Rescuing Jewish Children in Galychyna.
Messages, pastoral letters of Metropolitan A.Sheptytsky were studied, as well as materials of Archepatriarchal assemblies in the 30-40-ies, in particular, 1941-45.
Memories have been recorded of 10 residents of the Rozluch and Zakhkiv villages, towns of Peremyshel and Zborov on sermons and conduct of priests and monks on the eve of World War II and during the war.
3. Jewish Fates. Ukraine - 20th Century (record of memories of older people).
By 12.30.99, the Institute archives had 152 audio records of interviews, 145 of them deciphered and typed into computer, 92 edited and put on hard copy.
Among the pollees are 13 people born before 1911, among them Abram Karmazin and Boris Kats born in 1900, 39 people born before 1921. One of them is world-known welder Academician Boris Medovar born in 1916. Most of the pollees are Kyiv residents, but interviews were also taken in other 24 populated localities of Ukraine.
Agreement has been concluded on cooperation with the Open University under supervision of the Israeli Cultural Center in Kyiv. In keeping with the agreement, instead of writing their course projects, University students will interview people of the older generation and record their memories all over Ukraine.
Methodical recommendations, questionnaires and materials necessary for qualified interviews have been handed over to the University.
4. Collection, Archiving and Description of Old Jewish Pictures.
The collection includes already more than 450 archived colored Xerox copies of pictures.
The collection includes copies of photos from home albums - portraits, pictures of Jewish towns, synagogues, cemeteries; pictures of holidays and mournful events; group family photos and group photos of friends. Pictures reflect shoemakers, blacksmiths and tinmen, rabbis and doctors, soldiers and engineers.
A number of pictures of the 20-ies reflect specific character of Jewish collectives of that time: group photos of Jewish schools, kindergartens, technical schools. Of great interest are pictures of teachers of Jewish subjects and workers in culture - writers, artists, musicians. Children's pictures are remarkable.
Forms are put together with each picture on data on the people depicted on them.
Research of contemporaneity
1. Revival of Organized Jewish Life in Ukraine, 1988-98. (Joint Project with the Center of Jewish Policy of Jerusalem).
The Jewish Studies Institute has put together a chronicle of the Jewish life in Ukraine: 1988-1998. (central and regional Jewish press of Ukraine has been studied). A card index has been made of publications on research directions (Jewish education, system of social support, communal life, etc.), leaders of Jewish organizations have been interviewed, life and work have been described of Jewish communities of Chernivtsi, Bershady, Kremenchuk, Dnipropetrovsk, an archive has been collected of bylaws of the main Jewish organizations of Ukraine.
2. Monitoring of Anti-Semitic Manifestations.
Within the frameworks of this program, which started in 1992, a database has been created headlined «Anti-Semitic Publications and Manifestations in Ukraine», as well as expert reports. Over 1999, these were: «Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the Period of Mayor Elections in Kyiv» and «Manifestations of Anti-Semitism in the Period of Presidential Elections of 1999».
3. Sociological and Demographic Researches.
The Institute has collected an archive of sociological and demographic works related to the Ukrainian Jewry. It includes studies of experts of the Sociology Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the Democratic Initiatives Fund, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociological Researches, work of Russian and Israeli sociologists on the Jewish community of Ukraine. A bank of demographic data on Ukraine's Jewry has been formed. Analytical-prognosis reports have been prepared.
4. Library of Contemporary Books on Jewish Studies
Database «Jewish Studies of Ukraine» is systematized and continues to grow. It includes books published in Ukraine since 1989. An alphabetic and systematic card file has been set up. By 12.15.1999 it contained more than 500 cards.
5. Library of Jewish Periodic Editions
Jewish press in the present-day Ukraine legally began to be published in 1989. The library of Jewish newspapers contains 48 titles, 32 of which are regularly added to the Institute's archive. Among them are the most popular Kyiv newspapers «Jewish News», «Khadashot», «VEK» and new newspapers of small towns such as «Vinnytska Yerusalymka» (Vinnytsia), «Barukh Hashem» (Donetsk), «Shabat» (Bershady). The library also has Jewish «self-published» editions of the 70-90-ies.
6. Creation of Databases S.Pysareva.
The following databases have been created and are constantly replenished:
* Jewish Studies experts of Ukraine.
* Jewish organizations of Kyiv and Ukraine.
* Jewish Studies centers of Europe, USA, Israel and other countries.
II. PUBLISHING PROGRAMS L.Finberg
1. «Documents collected by the Jewish historic-archeographic commission of the National Academy of Sciences.
The collection is published jointly with the «Gesharim» publishers (Jerusalem). Its composer and author of comments is V.Khiterer – 12.5 p.s.
Documents collected by the Jewish historic-archeographic com-mission after its liquidation were transferred to the Kyiv Central Historical Archive (later – Central State Historical Archive), where they are kept until now.
This publication also contains: introductory article on the Jewish historic-archeographic commission and documents collected by this commission, biographic references of its employees, scientific comments to the published documents.
It also contains documents on Jewish history from other funds of the Central State Archive of Ukraine in Kyiv which thematically supplement the materials collected by the commission.
2. «Documents on the Jewish history (16-20th centuries) in the Kyiv archives».
Composer – V.Khiterer – 10 p.s.
A huge body of documents on Jewish studies accumulated in state and departmental archives of Ukraine was for a long time almost inaccessible to researchers and is still practically outside academic circulation.
The research contains data on documentary sources of the Jewish history and culture in the central, city and departmental archives of Ukraine.
The book will serve as a guidebook for researchers on the history of Jews of Ukraine.
3. Art-Publicistic Almanac of the Jewish Studies Institute «Yehu-pets»
Issue ¹ 5 has been printed, issue ¹ 6 is being prepared.
«Yehupets» ¹5 (14.5 p.s.) opens with an article of one of the most influential politicians in the Jewish world David Harris «Much to Celebrate»
The prose section carries a new story by Inna Lisova «Sketch with a Soft Slate Pencil», stories by Yakov Lotovsky, Itskhak Meras, Geliy Aronov, Leonid Pekarovsky. «Little Window in the Gates» is a story of the Nobel winner Itskhak Bashevis-Zinger, for the first time translated from Yiddish by Faina Braverman-Gorbach.
Four short stories from David Markis' novel «To be Like All», two chapters from Vardan Varzhape-tyan's unpublished novel «Return of Noah» are also offered to readers.
Poems written in different years by world-known, but unfortunately almost unknown in Ukraine, poetess Rose Auslender in translation of Petro Rykhlo are for the first time published in the Ukrainian language. Ritalii Zaslavsky tells about two Kyiv poets – Mykhailo Mogy-levych and Petro Kyrychansky – and offers some of their poems translated from Yiddish. Poems of Gennadii Bezzubov, whose first two books were published in Israel (though for the most part of his life he lived in Kyiv and Leningrad) are a contemporary's lyrical diary. In the almanac the reader will also find poems by Maryna Garber, Maryna Levina, Badym Groysman.
The publicism and literary criticism section contains a document from Vatican «We Remember: Reflections on the Holocaust», issued in April 1998 and for the first time translated into Ukrainian specially for «Yehupets» by Zinoviy Antoniuk and Oksana Zhmyr.
For the first time the almanac carries color inserts. These are works by D.Myretsky, À.Balazovsky and Y.Rudmynsky.
On top of that, the almanac also has an essay by Miron Petrovsky «Kyiv Attraction of David Miretsky» and articles about Balazovsky and Rudminsky. Cover illustrations are also made by these artists. For the first time drawings of Volodymyr (Zeev) Zhabotinsky are published, with an essay by Leonid Pekarovsky.
4. Encyclopedia «Ukrainian Jewry»
Preparatory materials of the popular encyclopedia have been published – preprints of articles devoted to Ukrainian and Jewish studies and Ukrainian-Jewish relations, issue 4, with sections: 1. Historiography. 2. Ukrainian Towns, Jews in the Cities of Ukraine. 3. Jewish Organizations of Ukraine. 4. Holocaust of the Ukrainian Jewry. 5. Ukrainian-Jewish Political and Cultural Relations. 6. Jewish Fiction. Responsible secretary is Marten Feller.
5. Preparation and Publication of Books of the «Library of the Jewish Studies Institute» Series
The following books have already been published:
* Book «Only We Survived. Testimonies and Documents». Editor-composer – Borys Zabarko, 33.48 p.s., circulation – 500 copies.
The book contains unique documents on the tragic and at the same time heroic destiny the Ukrainian Jewry during SHOAH, on the life of people who were doomed to destruction, but who overcame death, on relations between Jews and the local population.
* Materials of the 6th international scientific conference «Jewish History and Culture in the Countries of Central and East Europe – Shtetl as a Phenomenon of Jewish History».
The collection contains articles of modern researchers studying the past and the present of the Ukrainian Jewry. Their articles cover a wide spectrum of problems and are placed in the following sections: history of the «Shtetl» in Ukraine, History and destiny of the «Shtetl» in the 20th century, Culture of the «Shtetl» (architecture, music, folklore, arts), Literature on the «Shtetl» and Literature of the «Shtetl», Education in the «Shtetl», Religion and Spirituality. The collection opens with an introductory article of director of the Jewish Studies Institute Leonid Finberg.
The following books are being prepared for publication:
* Simon Markis «Dear Voice. Textbook». – 30 p.s.
«Literature of Jews of the Russian Empire in Russian is the theme of this collection, first of the kind», writes well-known literary critic Simon Markis – composer of this book.
The book includes the most fascinating for today's reader Russian-language compositions of the Jewish prose writers and poets, who came from Ukraine, Belarus, starting with Osip Rabinovich (1817-1869), who is worthily considered the father-founder of the Russian-Jewish art literature, and up to Isaac Babel.
* Collection «Jews and Slavs» unites authors from more than 20 countries of the world, writing about Jewish-Slavic relations. Issue 7 is the second one in the series on «Jews and Ukrainians», this time containing chiefly reports presented at the International Conference «Jerusalem in Slavic Cultures». Among its authors are Zinovii Antoniuk (Ukraine) - «Some «Oswiecim» Reflections in the Polish-Ukrainian Context», Moshe Taube (Jerusalem) «Genuine and Imaginary Jerusalem in East-Slavic Translations from Hebrew of the 15th century» and other European and Israeli scientists.
* Perets Markis. Poems (tran-slation into Ukrainian by V.Bogu-slavska).
The book contains new translations into the Ukrainian language of classic Yiddish poet Perets Markis, whose 105th birthday will be celebrated in 2000.
* Geliy Aronov. «How I was...»
This is a book of memoirs and stories of the well-known Ukrainian writer, editor of the almanac «Yehupets».
* Josef Zisels. Chosen articles of different years.
The book consists of biographic references, articles of the dissident period, general democratic speeches. A special section is devoted to creation and activities of the Jewish community of Ukraine and interethnic relations.
* Vadym Skuratovsky.
«About the author of the «The Protocols of the Elders of Zion».
This book, which is now being prepared for publication, contains textological analysis of the «The Protocols of the Elders of Zion» and other works of their probable author. Complete identity is convincingly shown of their styles, world outlooks, and ideologies. The book presents complete concept of the origin, historical role, principles of political use, falsification of history in this most well known and lasting anti-Semitic book.
* Purim-shpils in records of Moses Beregovsky.
Purim-shpils are national musical plays in Yiddish performed on Purim by Jewish theatrical-musical groups late in the 19th – early in the 20th century in Jewish towns and villages in East Europe. Purim-shpils (both texts and music) were written down in their genuine form by the well-known researcher of Jewish musical folklore Beregovsky in 1936-1941.
This unique material is prepared for publication by Beregovsky's daughter – doctor of philological sciences E.Beregovska.
6. Preparation and Publication of Other Editions
* Cards on Jewish holidays (Rosh-ha-Shana, Khanuka, Pesakh, and Purim) were selected in a competition and published (Artist V.Mykolaiv).
* A map «Jewish Addresses of Kyiv» (second edition) was published. It has a map of Kyiv with indication of places of synagogues and prayer houses, Jewish cemeteries, memorable places of the Jewish community, addresses of residence and activity of famous persons, museums, archives, libraries and modern buildings, portraits of the outstanding Jewish figures living in Kyiv and photos of the most remarkable buildings. The composer and author of the text is M.Kalnytsky, Author of the layout and design is Z.Chechyk, art. editor is O.Shkoliarenko.
* The following materials have been prepared and published:
Jewish Calendars for 5760 (1999-2000).
A fancy, multi-page edition, in two languages – Ukrainian and English, with the circulation of 4.0 thousand copies. Leaders of the project are L.Finberg, I.Sergeeva; Design by I.Klyova, S.Bratuta.
Cover and centerfolds of the calendar for the first time bear masterpieces from the collection of pinchases of the National Vernadsky Library of Ukraine, colorful folk pictures and ornamental title pages from the hand-written Jewish books of the 18th –19th centuries.
The calendar includes articles by famous philosophers, writers and leading experts in Jewish studies (V.Zhabotinsky, Sh.Y.Agnon, M.Bu-ber, S.Markis, I.Bashevis-Zinger, À.Steinsaltz and others).
A one-page color calendars with reproduction of work of the Kyiv ceramics artist O.Rapai-Markis «Jacob's Ladder». Such calendar, which was printed in 40 thousand copies, was presented to practically each and every Jewish family on the New Year.
A calendar directory (jointly with the Jewish Confederation of Ukra-ine). It for the first time contains brief descriptions of Jewish organizations of Ukraine, addresses of the Jewish communal structures, synagogues and miqvas, Kheseds, charity funds, Jewish day-care schools, institutes, mass media, international Jewish organizations in Ukraine. It also gives a table for candle lighting, a list of holidays and memorials.
III. ORGANIZATION AND CONDUCTING OF CONFERENCES, SEMINARS, LECTURES,
1. The Seventh international scientific conference «Jewish History and Culture in the Countries of Central and East Europe – Holocaust of European Jewry. Reflections between the Two centuries».
The conference was held on August 29-31 jointly with the Fund of Historic Video Documents «Those Who Survived the SHOAH», the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the National Vernadsky Library of Ukraine. 164 Ukrainian, Israeli, Russian, US, Hungarian, Belarussian, Moldovan scientists from 42 cities attended the conference. They worked in historical, philosophical, literature and art, education workshops, (teaching of the Holocaust at schools and universities), as well as «Holocaust with the Eyes of Witnesses» and «Memories of the Holocaust» sections. Round tables were held on: «Dialogue between the Intellectuals», «Understanding of Others as the Basis for Tolerance, and Multi-Culture Phenomenon of the Modern World», «Tragic Experience of the History of the 20th Century, its Comprehension by Spiritual Leaders between the Two Centuries». Materials presented at this conference are now being prepared for publication.
2. An All-Ukraine Lecture Center «Jewish History and Culture in Ukraine»
The lecture center resumed its work in the second half of 1999. It has five regional lecture groups: in Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Crimea, Lviv and Kharkiv.
Among the lecturers are Doctors of Science, writers, journalists, teachers of higher educational institutions, active workers of Jewish communities, representatives of religious organizations and others.
In the course of six months, 45 lecturers delivered 190 lectures. The lecturers are united into lecture groups according to their regions, and lecture mainly in their regions.
15 tours along the «Jewish Addresses of Kyiv» were held within the frameworks of the lectures.
3. ART-Gallery of the Jewish Studies Institute The «Agada» Project
The «Agada» program includes exhibitions of Ukraine's artists, who use Jewish or biblical themes. Exhibitions are carried out monthly in the «Tadzio» gallery on the Andriivsky Uzviz. Each exhibition takes one week. The program was opened with exhibition of painting and graphics of Mykhailo Vainstein. Over last year, the gallery presented works of Kyiv artists: Lubov Rappoport, the Tolkachevs family - Zinovii, Anel and Illia, Yuliy Sheinis, Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko, Yosyp Vaisblat, Mykhailo Schigol – painter and graphics artist, former Kyiv resident, now living in Prague.
4. Organization and holding of the II Communal Festival «The Nation of the Book in the World of Books» (Kyiv).
The program of the festival contained exhibition of Jewish books published in Ukraine and other countries, lectures, concerts, a literary program, a program for children, a tour on the «Jewish Addresses of Kyiv», exhibition «Jewish Matsevs of Ukraine and Moldova» (D.Goberman), «Book Graphics of M.Epstein», «Jewish Motives in Today's Ukrainian Animation» (Y.Kasavina, Y.Kirich), «Jewish Cinematographers of Ukraine in 1910-1945» (Y.Morozov), «Russian-Jewish Periodic Publications Between the Centuries» (I.Sergeeva). A reading hall was also open.
IV. PARTICIPATION OF JEWISH STUDIES INSTITUTE IN CONFERENCES AND ROUND TABLES
The sixth annual international inter-discipline conference on Jewish studies «Sefer» (Moscow);
Annual conference of the American Jewish Committee (Washin-gton);
«National Idea and Formation of Statehood» (Ternopil);
«Judeo-Christian Dialogue» (Lviv);
Congress of the international association of Ukrainian studies experts (Odesa);
«Jewish Thought Across Centuries» (Dnipropetrovsk);
«Holocaust Phenomenon» (Prague - Treblinka);
«Program of Personal Adaptation of Jewish Emigrants (Repatriates) from former USSR to new social-cultural and socioeconomic conditions in the accepting countries» (Gertzlia);
«Holocaust and Contemporaneity» (Kharkiv);
«Intellectuals and Ukrainian-Jewish cooperation», a round table (Kyiv);
«Films on the Holocaust», a round table with the participation of authors of the films – Swiss film directors Doiber and Gonset.
SPONSORS OF PROJECTS OF THE JEWISH STUDIES INSTITUTE
The Kyiv branch of «JOINT», the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, the Kyiv city Jewish community, funds: Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, American Jewish Committee, International «Renaissance» Foundation, etc.
LEADERS OF PROJECTS
Director of the Institute
The «Yehupets» Almanac – Geliy Aronov, Miron Petrovsky
The All-Ukraine Lecture Center «Jewish History and Culture» – Ludmila Burt
Record of Oral Stories – Roman Lenchovsky
Political Science – Volodymyr Mindlin
History – Zhanna Kovba, Volodymyr Lubchenko, Yulia Smelianska
The «Ukrainian Jewry» Encyclopedia - Marten Feller
Photo Art – Rita Ostrovska
Fine art – Iryna Klymova
Jewish periodic editions, archives of the Jewish Studies Institute – Olena Shkoliarenko.
Address of the Institute:
6, Kurska Street, Kyiv, Ukraine, 03049 Tel/fax (38044) 2488917