Monday, August 18, 2008

Ukraine: Cernivtsi Conference Aug 18-22

Ukraine: Cernivtsi Conference This Week (aug 18-22, 2008)

There will be a major conference in Cernivtsi, Ukraine next week to celebrate the
100th anniversary of the landmark First Yiddish Language Conference in Czernowitz (now Cernivtsi, Ukraine), held Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 1908, at which it was recognized that Yiddish was a Jewish language.

Click here for the program.

Ruth Ellen Gruber reports on her blog that "the [1908] conference focused on the role of Yiddish in Jewish life. The meeting drew 70 delegates representing many political and religious factions. They included the authors I.L. Peretz and Sholem Asch, along with other prominent scholars, writers and activists. The most heated debates centered on whether Hebrew, which was then being revived and modernized after centuries of disuse, or Yiddish, which was spoken by millions of Jews, could, or should, be considered the Jewish national language. In the end, delegates adopted a resolution declaring Yiddish "a" national language of the Jewish people -- along with Hebrew.

One of the major events is an conference in Cernivtsi next week. The conference is mainly academic, but it will also feature guided tours of Cernivtsi and unspecified Jewish heritage sites in Bucovina and Galicia." See photos of some such sites on Ruth's web site.

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