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“In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine” by Jeffrey Veidlinger

  • 23 Apr 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • From the convenience of your home device.

Jewish small-town life in Soviet Ukraine is focus of April 23, 2023, JGSI hybrid meeting lecture

“In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine” will be the topic of a presentation by University of Michigan Professor Jeffrey Veidlinger for the Sunday, April 23, 2023, hybrid meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His talk will begin at 2 p.m. CDT via Zoom and at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Illinois.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:45 p.m. CDT to accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m.

In-person and Zoom registrations will be forthcoming. Participants may register for both online and in-person events if they are undecided. In-person attendance will be limited.

In this multimedia talk, based on some 400 oral history interviews taken as part of the AHEYM (Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories) project, Jeffrey Veidlinger will explore how elderly Yiddish speakers relate their memories of Jewish life in the Soviet Ukrainian shtetl, their stories of survival during the Holocaust, and their experiences living as Jews under Communism.

Veidlinger shows that despite Stalinist repressions, the Holocaust, and official antisemitism, their individual remembrances of family life, religious observance, education, and work testify to the survival of Jewish life in the shadow of the shtetl.

Jeffrey Veidlinger is the Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. His most recent book, “In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Ukrainian Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust” (2021), won a Canadian Jewish Literary Award, was a Kirkus Outstanding Book of 2021, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Lionel Gelber Award. He is also the author of the award-winning books “The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage” (2000), “Jewish Public Culture in the Late Russian Empire” (2009), and “In the Shadow of the Shtetl: Small-Town Jewish Life in Soviet Ukraine” (2013).

Veidlinger is chair of the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History, a member of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy for Jewish Research, and a former vice president of the Association for Jewish Studies.

Please keep in mind that JGSI will maintain certain procedures for our in-person meetings. These include:

  • We request all attendees to in-person meetings be vaccinated.
  • Face masks will be required.
  • You will be asked to complete a Temple Beth-El waiver form upon arrival. We will retain all waiver forms on behalf of TBE.
  • Water will be provided; however, no food will be allowed at this time.
  • Seating will be set up to allow for social distancing.
  • And MOST IMPORTANT, if you are sick or not feeling well or recently tested positive for COVID, please do not come into TBE.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:45 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions from genealogy expert volunteers before the main program begins at 2 p.m.

At each in-person JGSI monthly meeting, its “help desk” will operated from 12:45 to 1:50 p.m. Member volunteers will access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:45 to 1:50 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 75 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.



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JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.