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photo from https://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com The “Father of Yiddish Theatre”, Avrom Goldfaden, and the Jewish bards Velvel Zbarzher, and Elyokem Tsunzer, came back to life in the 1930s via the poet Itsik Manger. Born Isidor Helfer in 1901, son of...

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A Privy in the Ward The district that lies between College and Queen Streets, Yonge Street and University Avenue (known as the Ward) is generally regarded by the respectable citizens of Toronto as a strange and fearful place into which it unwise to enter...

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The Old Country? How did it smell? Sound? Was it as unified and cosy as the proponents of Heritage Travel would have us believe? Was there really a strong sense of community? Did Chagall’s phantom figures tap their toes to the familiar tunes of Fiddler...

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The Barlad Fusgeyers with their horse, wagon, and the three women who were part of the group In 1858, ten years later, after the Peace Treaty of Paris concluded the Crimean War, the principalities of Moldavia and Walachia united to become the new country...

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Shipping Company Port Dormitory Immigrant trade was the staple of European steamship lines. Timber and cotton filled the holds on the inward voyage, and people on the outward. Liverpool, Southampton, Rotterdam, Cherbourg, and Hamburg were the major ports...

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In 1661, the Jewish Council of Vilna issued a decree banning merry-making fire dances, plays, and masquerades although the badkhonim (wedding jesters) were allowed to continue their acts during marriage ceremonies. Theatrical performances were limited...

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The Fusgeyers and the Jewish Pedestrian Movement After 1899, those who organized themselves into groups to walk across Romania called themselves fusgeyers (pronounced “foosgayer” — the Yiddish word for foot-goers, pedestrians or wayfarers). Fusgeyers...

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Former shtetl street, Ukraine Like the earlier eighteenth century European Enlightenment, [1] the late eighteenth century Jewish Enlightenment — the Haskalah [2] — fought religious orthodoxy and abuse. Its advocates, known as Maskilim, [3] pointed to...

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In Dubno, in the old centre of the town, I pass under a sagging arcade and through a courtyard. Suddenly, here I am: in the old Jewish shtetl. Here, alleyways and leaning houses are just the way I’d pictured them. It’s how things must have looked back...

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Hungarian Jewish Farmers (Photos Courtesy of the Memorial Museum of Hungarian Speaking Jewry, Safed, Israel) After 1900, Jewish society glittered in Budapest. Although comprising only a tiny six percent of the population, f orty-two percent of journalists,...

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Photo: Former Polish castle in today's Ukraine Ask around: how many people know about the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth? Few. Yet, after Poland and Lithuania united in 1569, their powerful bi-confederation stretched over Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, most...

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