Ukrainian Jews honor Yiddish teacher


KIEV, Ukraine (JTA) — Jews in Kiev marked the 90th birthday of the oldest Jewish teacher of Yiddish in Ukraine.

Leaders of Jewish organizations in Ukraine, graduates of Kiev’s Jewish Sunday school and other guests gathered Tuesday at the Jewish Council of Ukraine to celebrate Josef Torchinsky’s birthday.

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.

More than 250 students have graduated from his Sunday school in Kiev.

The Jewish community of Ukraine thanked Torchinsky for his longtime service.

“We express our gratitude to his efforts to propagate the cultural heritage of the Jewish people, in particular Yiddish,” said Arkady Monastyrsky, the director general of the Jewish Foundation of Ukraine and a graduate of the school.

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