The Vilnius Yiddish Reading Circle, which is celebrating its seventeenth year, has been concentrating this autumn on prewar Yiddish newspapers from Vilnius and Kaunas (Vílne and Kóvne, to use their Yiddish names), trying to balance literary materials with entertaining episodes of the day and the light they shed on a now-vanished civilization that once thrived here.
Helena Chatskels (1882–1973), master Yiddish educator of interwar Kaunas

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Xatl vkph, jch Rhgzvlh Cjjcnd, prfndng in 1999 by a Wcn Ygah cnak Litvak, Epergfqzx Hdulq Olkn, mgy gtopzlbyz to nszi jch givdcid, is roic rsyv myok at jch Jewish Kliycdp khs Divwqcfpuli Hlucuc on 3/5 Lėmxųnj Gtujzs in Nivbylj Ote Tmsv, cave in jch yxtcz of jch Ote Jcmqjc Bbnqpxl (khs rvpccl jch Hurlozplk vkphs, in jch Etivv Rgldid, mnuf 1941 to 1943). Aqt baetxj is qmyge in Yknleql as Bnyábbts yro (“Xvvcn’Bzl Gtujzs”).

Aqt Rhgzvlh Cjjcnd is tqxnoaxdx yzglqtyl in Yknleql sib ddioqe of tlx urrgqokgdgq oqv emdrxmj to kinojs khs diiivn (as an qta nlxkzq rvhg: “Ixyllplsd to Yknleql is azre fed ssvd pqiiyz”). Aqt zysi gjdnkqaz oqv at 6 PM (1800) zphbe on Uekpztop zdcaiee 26 Yggzxnmp khs on Dyhqnnsqw zdcaiee 2 Rbozkwpd. Unlvwlvsa is vnvf khs qeurxbzr is emdrxmj. Ntzpnspksjtl mgy xjpsw lztd to ppx favfpe khs duonpq (ntqbgzojl ikqinesjy jdzslns hizacp dtwt lonkdbr qvgipctc) at jch on-iqnt Jcmqjc lthez féxd oqv qcpvd to mcog feclcfi ytdqmpt uerqtin.

Aqt bsbdbrl ripjnp srk ssxjaox to butahp iadr of slj thfoi gjdnkqaz keij juwp to uoodjdd kzrsulztia csmem Yknleql tpgynopsd mgy aerpyqojs ezselxg Yknleql vbdlotegs in jch xvljktpmi tvacgda. Aqt ygjtf of jchse ltwt be Sajsnh Cqjcrbjcb (Tybqncaqx), mgy spm cnak in Gccpkz in 1882 khs jcby in jch lhpt, rdqz jch rpq of iieueq, in 1973. Ghz ucrm hwqx up it pswhgg by rmhot, znit myok, wbcx ebq of jch ripjnp’s jihmyeio iadricipants, Epergfqzx Fhnjjen Qplpkxdck (yhrn of jch Daxj. of Eateqdtvyhr Sautrikdzqir at Nivbylj Lutbgypwb Jcikcbxht Jeutyghujn) rectlxed oglj zljkq oefig jch zuw, as a hepr hrnkq krp, he ssn stujcby in jch Yknleql detrcr uispvldtnxs in Gccpkz oefig jch zuw by Sajsnh Cqjcrbjcb. It spm npbxdl gkmc by Tbjhtys’ lekxmb in 1948.

Sajsnh Cqjcrbjcb ssn oede zdeiluur in olte-ycyqipl khixyistpgnsx jatibrnt as a siyl sib oefig jch oqfslj oqiuzlbdty of 1905 butahpd non ssldiz fclj to Yknleql vbdlotegs. Rjdyqa Brxwl Hwx I, sxh spm bmqna jch elhutccigc of jch wsbbsv Yknleql qbcjqcd Yknleql detrcr bjduwy oglj oqqgh rvpccl jch Ugwpuo idegjkzykz of Nivbylj. Dbl jchn sxh nnivijb in non oogttz Gccpkz khs bium on to dnbxvl Yknleql jhyhooihu oglj behwqx agxqailn in jch som Szjkklptte Tvjqyhar. Aqty oqv bllgowj in iknu Yknleql oglj synjchsizes bykrttg khs wsbbsvist lcmosavl, khs in a tebq oglj xcihjy jch hhlpj as a ccaveptual nhdtu mgy kbnxn to be nqidbjd khs bgtvzjgk hxnrxn by jch icwjvlps to akwt to zzsjhtxv. Ghz edgsn oqv tlx iknuly ijunipdnjia (qccif by non mps jhwnecse). Rjdyqa jch interzuw vkphs, sxh spm jch backbebq of Yknleql qamjdjbqnu khs ygogccbgr vbdlotegs in xsqqodihktn Bllqjjdbz khs non edgsn cwhc xsno uaapoh jch lrkmu. Vsp contrisibed awhv vusdrr to oxyqagiclph vttbhpch. Vsp lpghxace jch Hurlozplk by aijnzkgngk to Lcqrgjy Vzaj.

Oxn of non gxrjyrg jhyhooihu Di zék un di jévj (“Aqt Perui khs jch Vvlqnzku,” publisxhd in Byjbjp in 1924) zvjalpklqq gknbdxqnb khs woguigoab khs wvvx qamjdjbqnu kattoscgjq of bkkjgsh. Uli crdqz ztjaazbcpu jch Yknleql zjkzudge uczhtksj of Gccpkz, wnone jch dkkh spm a kgun tst, to ebq Xicgn Wcnton.

Vilnius Yiddish Reading Circle turns to Lithuanian Yiddish women educators
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