Because smoking is permitted on the holiday but lighting them isn’t, Jews would offer their lit cigarettes to Jewish passers-by.
I always found the shtetl foods — chicken necks and smoked fish — disgusting. Until now.
“Shtetl Love Song” belongs to the genre of homespun shtetl literature, which began with Mendele Mocher Sforim’s autobiography, “Shloyme Ben Khayems.”
Ljova and the Kontraband performed a beautiful Yiddish song from western Ukraine in an NPR “Tiny Desk Concert.”
At first glance, this drab town 160 miles south of Kiev seems nearly identical to the settlements that dot the poverty-stricken district of Vinnitsa. Shrouded in a seemingly permanent cloud of smoke from wood fires Bershad, population 13,000, features two rickety bridges over the Dokhna River.
The Jews of Uchanie, my father’s shtetl in Lublin province, used to say about the Jews of Wojslawice just down the road, that they were meshumodim. Turncoats. What worse epithet could you hurl at a fellow Jew?
As Jews, we must speak out. We are no strangers to the life-saving benefits of immigration no less than we are strangers to the reality of what happens when immigration is no longer an option.
No Jewish visitor to Ukraine’s National Art Museum can pass this painting without stopping to look:
Sometimes Jews transferred goods illegally to preserve their way of life; in other cases, the incentives were less noble. From kosher wine to Ecstasy, here are our best bootlegs.
When Mikhail Kivovich came to America from Belorussia in 1991, he knew he had relatives who had made the same journey decades earlier. But he had no idea how many — until recently.