Jewish History of Ukraine

Updated: May 17

Proverbial "interesting times" we now find ourselves in call for strange measures.

It is my unsubstantiated belief that majority of American Jews hail from a distant Pale of Settlement origin. I am not a student of origins of American Jewry, and I base this assertion entirely on my observations and interactions with American-born Jews during the 42+ years that elapsed since I arrived here as a refugee from Kiev, USSR.

During the late XIXth and most of the XXth centuries it was not fashionable here to burden the descendants with details of harrowing experiences and escapes from the old country. The new immigrants, and it was particularly true of the Jewish diaspora to the US, frequently changes their last and first names, embellished or reinvented family histories and otherwise strove to present a better position forward than the one they have left behind.

There are many reasons behind such reinventions, and most of them have roots tarnished in the history of "back home" days. I grew up in the thick of Ukraine, in its capital city, surrounded by a lot of old world stories many may now seek to discover.

As we are living in the next round of those proverbially interesting times, and many questions seek answers that will shed better understanding on the region, the Jewish Historical Society of SWFL will be providing a unique presentation "Jewish History of Ukraine" on Thursday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m. on Zoom and/or in person at the community room of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

Registration information will be posted to Events Page after May 1.

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