EAJ Policy Papers, No 11 (Feb 4, 2019)
Yiddish, the traditional language of Ashkenazi Jews, almost disappeared as a means of live communication in Eastern Europe and in the post-Soviet countries due to cultural assimilation during the Soviet period and the mass Jewish emigration of the 1990s. The activities of the Associations of Jewish Culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the first of which in Ukraine (the second in the USSR) was founded in Lviv (Lvov, Lemberg), preliminary focused on the idea of restoring and developing of the Yiddish culture. In the following years, the interest to this issue grammatically decreased, but grew again after a quarter-century gap, this time an academic discipline, and mostly by non-Jewish intellectuals and local cultural activists. This welcome and important activity however poses a few questions before Jewish community leaders concerning the considerations behind this trend. Whether it is a sort of general liberalization of the humanitarian knowledge, or an attempt to get a critical view on the history of their people in the light of their Jewish neighbors fate, or an attempt to «privatize» Jewish culture as a “unit of memory” of the local non-Jewish society?
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Oxana Sykorsky, Vladislava Moskaletz