A few years ago, a festival of Jewish music in Moscow was a niche event, but this Wednesday thousands are expected at Arena Moscow for Yiddish Fest, with some of the world’s best klezmer musicians coming to town.

Canadian musician Josh Dolgin sings, plays the piano, makes puppets and throws as many styles as you can think of into his act, including disco. Others playing include Klezmatics,  David Krakauer, American clarinetist whose style mixes klezmer, jazz, funk and hip-hop. Violinist Mark Kovnatsky, one of the festival’s organizers and founder of the Hamburg Klezmer Festival and the local artist and musician Psoi Korolenko.

( Биробиджа́н;  ביראָבידזשאַן) is a town and the administrative center of the Jewish Autonomous Region (Oblast) in Russia. It is located on the Tans-Siberian railway, close to the border with the China, and is the home of two synagogues.

The Birobidzhan Railway Station.


Yiddish in Birobidzhan


L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin!

The other Jewish homeland: “L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin!” is a 2002 US documentary film by Yale Strom portraying the Jewish Autonomous Region (Oblast) that formed part of the former Soviet Union and is still in existence in today’s Russia.

Synopsis: “In April 1928, twenty years before the founding of Israel, Joseph Stalin created the world’s first Jewish homeland in the Soviet Union, in a barren stretch of land on Siberia’s Far Eastern border. Although conceived as a solution to the ‘Jewish problem,’ The Jewish Autonomous Region (or J.A.R.), became a center for Yiddish culture and tradition, and was the first place in the world where Yiddish culture thrived. The J.A.R. attracted Jewish settlers from across the Soviet Union and even as far away as the United States, Argentina, and Palestine. By 1948 the Jewish population had peaked at 45,000 (roughly one-quarter of the region’s total demographics). The J.A.R. was home to Yiddish schools, theaters, publications and synagogues. Filmed on location in Birobidzhan, capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, L’CHAYIM, COMRADE STALIN! features interviews with pioneer settlers and current residents, plus footage never before seen outside Russia (as well as the rare propaganda film Seekers of Happiness). This beautifully directed and startling work offers a fascinating glimpse into the most intriguing chapter in 20th century Jewish and Russian histories.”


Ожидаемый в скором !




“Why Joseph Stein, who wrote the libretto for “Fiddler on the Roof,” chose to call Tevye’s village Anatevka, I don’t know. Not only is the fictional Anatevka not mentioned in Sholom Aleichem’s “Tevye the Dairyman” as Tevye’s home, but it is also referred to as definitely not his home. Thus, at the book’s end, when Tevye is expelled from his village as part of the draconian new prohibitions on Jewish residency in rural areas promulgated by the czarist government in 1910, the policemen serving him his eviction papers says: ‘It’s not just against you. And it’s not just here, either. It’s in every village in the area, in Zlodilevka, and in Rabilevka, and in Kostolimevka, and even in Anatevka, which has been considered a town until now. You all have to leave. Every one of you Jews’.”

SOURCE: http://www.forward.com/articles/126662/ Published March 17, 2010.


Coming soon!

באַלד קומענדיק

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