The Lecture Series
Afternoon lectures, in Yiddish (with summary interpretation in English) or English, cover a range of themes relevant to the culture of Yiddish-speaking Jewry, with a focus on historical Lite. Our speakers include internationally recognized scholars from Europe and abroad. Typically, their topics embrace Yiddish language and literature, East European Jewish history and culture, Yiddish humor, Vilna institutions and personalities, and more.
Guided City Tours and Bus Outings
Native-born guides acquaint program participants with the fabled Vilna of their prewar youth. In the streets of the old Jewish Quarter, you will stand at sites that hold memories of the Vilna Gaon, the Strashun library, Israel Salanter’s study house, the poets of Yung Vilne, the Brothers Romm publishing house, YIVO, and many more.
Weekly bus excursions take us to such places as the Holocaust site of Paneriai (Ponar) forest outside Vilnius. In the lake-side resort of Trakai we will tour the ancient castle, the Karaite knesa (house of worship), and find time for boating and other relaxation. In addition, we will visit a shtetl (small Jewish town), its old-time features still partly in evidence.
Concerts and Films
Students will hear concerts of art and folk songs by accomplished singers, all dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Yiddish music. Klezmer music will also figure in the cultural program, with opportunities for student performance. Festive weekly get-togethers over an abundantly set shabes table, with members of the Vilnius Jewish community as our guests, will offer still more occasion for individual and group music-making.
There will be showings of both prewar and contemporary Yiddish films.