KIEV (JTA) — Ukraine honored its oldest teacher of Yiddish.
Josef Torchinsky, 90, was presented with the “Honored Diploma” last Thursday by the national Committee for Nationalities and Religions “for his personal contribution to the development of Jewish Culture and Yiddish in Ukraine on the occasion of his 90th birthday.”
Jewish organizational activists, graduates of Kiev’s Jewish Sunday school and other guests and officials gathered Thursday at the Jewish Charitable Foundation Hesed Nahalat Avot Azriel in Kiev to mark Torchinsky’s birthday.
Torchinsky thanked the committee and recited some of his poems in Yiddish and Ukrainian. The participants recited poems and sang songs in Yiddish, Russian and Ukrainian.
Torchinsky has served since 1989 as a Sunday school Yiddish teacher. He also is the author of a Yiddish-Ukrainian dictionary, phrase books and a collection of Jewish
music, folklore, proverbs and sayings. He has written numerous poems in Yiddish, Ukrainian and Russian.
Some 250 students have graduated from his Sunday school in Kiev.