As the Vilna Shul returns to its renovated, historic location in Beacon Hill, we will seize the opportunity to look, close up, at Vilna of the Old Country, the “Great City of Israel, Jerusalem of Lithuania,” whose emigres founded this Boston synagogue a century ago. Examinations of six specific lives will provide a window through which to see diverse religious and secular aspects of this East European Jewish cultural center and to consider what its legacy means for us today.
Weekly biographies will likely include:
- Rabbi Elijah ben Shelomo Zalman, “The Vilna Ga’on” (1720-1797), an extraordinary Talmudist and opponent of Hasidism
- Devorah Romm, publisher and scion of a learned family of Hebrew-type printers (d. 1903)
- Max Weinreich (1894-1969), founder of YIVO, the first institute for academic study of Yiddish language and culture
- Author Chaim Grade (1910-1972), as a representative of the avant-garde Yiddish-language cultural movement called Yung Vilne
- Rachela Pupko-Krinsky (1910-2002), who with Abba Kovner and others resisted Nazis in the Vilna ghetto
- Lucy Dawidowicz (1915-1990), who, as an American-born literature student, sailed from New York to Vilna to study Yiddish language and culture in September 1938 and stayed until August 1939, and lived to tell her tale
Class dates: Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 29; Feb. 12, 26; March 11, 25 and April 1 (snow dates April 22 and May 6).+ More... - Less...
18 Phillips St
Boston, MA 02114
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