‘Year of Sholem Aleichem’ begins


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Limmud FSU will kick off the "Year of Sholem Aleichem" in Israel at a center devoted to the Yiddish writer and Yiddish culture.

The acclaimed founder of the Yiddishshpiel Theater, Shmulik Atzmon, will attend Thursday night’s event at Tel Aviv’s Beit Sholem Aleichem along with Limmud FSU International Chairman Matthew Bronfman and more than 200 Limmud FSU volunteers from throughout Israel.

A year’s worth of events are being held on the 150th anniversary of the writer’s birthday.

The author’s granddaughter, Bel Kaufman, 97, will participate in weekend events in New York to honor Sholem Aleichem.

Limmud FSU organizes Jewish learning events in the states of the former Soviet Union and in Israel.

“Sholem Aleichem was an important figure in world literature and a central part of the Jewish literary heritage," said Chaim Chesler, the founder of Limmud FSU. "As the ‘father of Jewish jumor’ he influenced many later writers and continues to be a source of inspiration for Jewish humorists today. That’s why we have decided to devote our educational events over the coming year to his works.”

Chesler added that through learning about the works of Sholem Aleichem, Russian-speaking Jews in Israel and the former Soviet Union would be able to connect to the rich Jewish cultural tradition his works represent.

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