In Search of Amnesia

In November 2019 I returned to Ukraine, this time concentrating on the Kiev region, formerly part of the Russian Empire and the Pale of Settlement, a region that stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. This region had for centuries, despite numerous pogroms, been a haven for Judaism and the centre for European Jewish settlement. Ukraine’s cities, towns and villages once held sizeable Jewish populations active in trade, commerce and politics. Ukraine is still culturally and religiously significant to Jews: it is the ancestral home to many diaspora Jews; Jewish people have lived on these lands for nine millennia and it is a major pilgrimage site for Hasidic Jews. This layering of history is crucial to the understanding of Ukraine, and of Eastern Europe in general, and is the contextual soil in which this project sits. Ukraine may have been a borderland, with Kyiv and the Dnieper River at its centre, but for the Jews it was the spiritual heartland and place of religious reform and enlightenment. There is talk of a Jewish revival within Ukraine, with new communities growing in the large urban areas, such as Kyiv, however in the rural areas there is a declining Jewish population.

 

 

 

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Elderly Jewish Man, Holocaust survivor from a village near to Zvenyhorodka

 

 

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Yacob Tamarkin, Head of the Jewish Community, outside Synagogue, Vasyl’Kiv

 

 

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Barooka (Bellinda), Bershad

 

 

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Elena Alekseevna Miroshnichenko, Zvenyhorodka

 

 

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Klavdiya Kolesnikova, Jewish Museum, Korsun

 

 

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Pyotr wearing Tefillin, Korsun

 

 

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Klavdiya Kolesnikova

 

 

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Leonid Brasavskiy, Head of the Jewish Community, Zvenyhorodka

 

 

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Roman Tivin, Head of the Jewish Community, Bohslav

 

 

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Roman’s Grandfather, Avraam Simhovich Mamut with his wife Rivka, both of whom dies from typhoid in the evacuation, Korsun Jewish Museum

 

 

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Oleh, Uman

 

 

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Dmitri (Shoemaker), Uman

 

 

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Ina, Great Choral Synagogue, Podil, Kyiv

 

 

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Brodsky Synagogue, Kyiv

 

 

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Brodsky Synagogue, Kyiv

 

 

Hasidic Jew Brodsky Synagogue diptych

Stein, Brodsky Synagogue, Kyiv

 

 

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Puppets from Yiddish Theatre Exhibition (part of the Judaica Institute collection), Museum of Theatre, Music and  Cinema Of Ukraine, Kyiv

 

 

 

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Brodsky Synagogue, Kyiv

 

 

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Leonid Finberg, Director of The Center for the Studies of History & Culture of East European Jewry, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

 

 

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Tania Borodina, Researcher in Holocaust history, Judaica Institute, Kyiv

 

 

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Oksana, ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, Kyiv branch (with drone aerial view of Jewish cemetery)

 

 

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Kateryna Malakhova, Historical Researcher, ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, Kyiv branch

 

 

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Jewish School, Bila Tserkva

 

 

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Jewish School, Bila Tserkva

 

 

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Holodomor Monument, Kyiv

 

 

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Sweeper, Babyn Yar (massacre site), Kyiv

 

 

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Goats, Zvenyhorodka Jewish Cemetery

 

 

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Yakob, Jewish Cemetery,  Vasyl’Kiv

 

 

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Former Jewish home, Bershad

 

 

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Locals, former Jewish shtetl, Bershad

 

 

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Bohslav, former Shtetl

 

 

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Jewish Cemetery, Zvenyhorodka

 

 

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Yefim Mihailovich Vigodner, Head of the Jewish Community, Bershad

 

 

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Synagogue, Bershad

 

 

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