To be a Jew in Estonia -
in the past, present and future
Sunday, March 26
USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET
UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm
The talk will last approximately 90 minutes
About this talk
This tour will take us through the 150 years of Jewish life in Estonia, the smallest of the Baltic countries, embedded in the northwest corner of Europe.
Estonia is known for its environmental beauty - woods, lakes, islands and medieval fortresses. It's capital Tallinn is considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Its wide walls, tall towers and narrow streets still keep the atmosphere of the 16th and 17th centuries. Although there is some evidence of Jewish presence in Estonia already back in the 14th century, the community was only officially established after 1865 following the reforms of the Russian Tsar Alexander II.
We will start by learning about the Jewish community's commercial success in the late 19th century. We will speak about the phenomenon of the "Jewish Cultural Autonomy" in the short-lived Republic of Estonia of the 1920s - 1930s. We will discuss the Holocaust and the Stalinist repression, and we will hear the stories of the Jewish refuseniks of the late Soviet period. Finally, we will get to the modern times, when the Jewish Community was re-established in the newly independent Estonia. We will look at today's community, visit the Synagogue and Jewish Museum in Tallinn, and speak about the current Estonian attitude towards Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust among other sensitive subjects.
About EvgeniaEvgenia Kempinski is a Russian Jew born and raised in St. Petersburg. Her family was originally from the Pale of Settlement - Poland, Ukraine and Belorussia. She has been an official St. Petersburg tour guide for over 15 years and she is the founder and owner of St. Petersburg Jewish Tours - a company offering Jewish travelers a unique experience of showcasing the best of the former Soviet Union and Scandinavia from a Jewish point of view. She currently lives in Haifa, Israel.
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With your contribution you will also be donating to the Estonian Jewish Center- Beit Bela Synagogue
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