«Jewish Observer»
June 2002
5762 Sivan

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April Jewish readings in Zaporozhye were dedicated to the 65th anniversary of their organizer and inspirer Boris Esterkin. This time reports were to comply with the theme "Theory, methodology, historiography and sources study of research works on the history of Jews in Ukraine". This was a probable reason why many of frequenters to Zaporozhye conferences restrained from applying. Nonetheless, the gathering appeared rather numerous, and participants were divided into three sections.

Head of Zaporozhye regional center, associate professor S.Orlyansky presented analysis of problems of Jewish studies. Professor G.Bakanursky (Odessa) dedicated his report to methodological basis of Jewish historical chronology, which included registration of process of transformation and integration of Jewish communities in different countries. Professor R.Mirsky (Lvov) described an educational program of the "Holocaust" international center he had founded.

Head of Ukrainian center for Holocaust history studies A.Podolsky, A.Fredekind, M.Kozyreva (Nikolaev), L.Volovik and Y.Valshonok (Kharkov museum of Holocaust) dwelt on the studying and teaching problems of Shoah. Schoolchildren and students regularly attend the museum in Kharkov. Live discussion was caused by questions on teaching the problems of Shoah as a separate subject, its including into the course "National minorities during" WWII" or "Ethnic tragedies in Ukraine".

Topicality of the theme was also conditioned by completing the construction in Zaporozhye of a monument to Holocaust victims. Movement of progressive Judaism takes a rather active part in an interconfessional dialogue, which adds up to its constructive role in achieving interreligious understanding. A renowned researcher of problems of Jewish agriculture in Ukraine I.Shaikin presented, as always, new interesting materials on this unusual occupation of our ancestors.

A report on methods to study problems of anti-Semitism and struggle against it caused heated discussion. As it turned out, necessity of such struggle is not quite obvious. An orthodox representative suggested opposing to anti-Semitism be restricted to negotiations of religious leaders. A department head of the regional museum Y.Grinevich presented materials on Jewish education in Nikolaev on the brink of XIX and XX centuries, an activist of the Zaporozhye Jewish community S.Litvak made a review of materials on Jewish organizations in Ukraine found in publications in "Jewish Observer". The only report on problems of teaching Jewish traditions was made by L.Izmailova. She dwelt on the methods of teaching Jewish traditions, use of didactic materials in class, non-standard ways of teaching on the example of lessons on the themes: "Jewish family", "Talmud about a family law", "Mixed Marriage", "Children's upbringing in national traditions", "Family harmony", "Giyur", "Link of Torah, earth and people of Israel". The report was abundant in materials of the seminar after the program "Zegut neguit" held in Israel in January. Philological speeches predominantly analyzed poetic works and experience of language learning. Though they deviated from the main theme of the section - "Methodology", - its head offered a separate philological section be created at the nest readings. D. Soldatkin made an immanent analysis of O.Mandelshtam's poem "Impressionism" having also artistically performed it. His colleague T.Heilik brought in a live interest with interpretation of verbal associations as a way to describe a Jew's stereotype. It appears other nationalities have the following stereotypes of a Jew: a woman-Jew should be plump, a queen of household, caring mother and loving wife and be able to cook much and tasty.

A man-Jew is intelligent, enterprising, wonderful father and, of course, a good family man. Pedagogue N.Bakulina (Kiev) shared her own experience telling about particularities of oral speech development while learning Hebrew. Undoubtedly, these readings have become another achievement of Jewish scientific thought in Ukraine.


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