Shtetl Part 1: A Jewish Universe

Thursday, September 21

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

A shtetl is often defined as a Jewish market town located in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later Russian Pale of Settlement. Usually small and self-contained, shtetls were vibrant centers of Jewish life and tradition.

These simple definitions do not explain the importance and influence of a shtetl on Jewish life and culture.

This talk will help us find our own answers to many questions about the phenomenon of a shtetl:

What was so unique about the shtetl?

Why do some researches call it "Jewish Atlantis"?

What made the life of the Jewish community in the shtetl so special?

What makes a town a shtetl?

What did the shtetl look like and who actually lived there? Were there any non-Jews in the shtetl?

In addition, we will discuss food, traditions, language, beliefs, jobs, community structure and other important elements of the shtetl's everyday life.

About Evgenia

Evgenia 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 The Together Plan, a small charity with a big vision - to put Jewish Belarus back on the world map and help isolated Jewish communities find their voice and learn skills for self-development.

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