Lecture on Litvaks who wrote in Yiddish

On 21 September, in the “Laiptų galerija / Staircase Gallery” of the Šiauliai Municipality Culture Centre, a guest from Israel – lecturer Mordechay Yushkovsky.

At the beginning of the meeting, Janina Ališauskienė, the Director of the “Laiptų Galerija / Staircase Gallery”, presented the events that had already taken place on the occasion of the Jewish Culture Days. Ingrida Vilkienė, Coordinator of the International Commission’s Educational Programmes, spoke about the cooperation between the Secretariat of the International Commission and the Yiddish Centre of the World Jewish Congress in Vilnius. One of the most significant aspects of the collaboration is to educate the public – about the Yiddish language, the flourishing culture, and traditions brutally destroyed during the Holocaust by killing the Yiddish speakers.

Mordechay Yushkovsky gave a lecture on “Lithuanian Jews in the Mirror of the Yiddish Literature”. The guest from Israel presented Lithuanian Jewish (Litvaks’) literature with vivid literary examples while introducing the personal stories of the writers. Dr. Mordechay Yushkovky, quoting, for example, a short story by the writer Sholom Aleichem, stressed that “pay attention not to what he wrote, but how he wrote it”. The lecturer presented the audience with several works whose plot was sad and worthy of further reflection. Still, Mordechay Yushkovsky summarized the situations funnily and playfully, at the same time introducing not only the literary plot but also the Jewish humor and folklore.

After an emotionally warm meeting and introduction to Yiddish literature, the Director of the “Laiptų Galerija / Staircase Gallery” expressed her hope that Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky will visit Šiauliai in the future as the introduction to Yiddish culture has just begun, and there is a great need for more exploration.

Dr. Mordechay Yushkovsky’s lecture in Šiauliai was organized by the Secretariat of the International Commission in cooperation with the International Yiddish Centre of the World Jewish Congress in Vilnius, together with its partners: the Šiauliai Municipality’s Culture Centre “Laiptų Galerija / Staircase Gallery” and the Jewish Community of Šiauliai County.

Photos are from the Facebook page of the “Laiptų Galerija / Staircase Gallery”: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=LaiptuGalerija&set=a.614313490320009