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The Shtetl: A Jewish Universe

Thursday, September 1, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:30 pm on Thursday, repeating until Thursday, September 22, 2022


Shtetl – a market town located in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later the Russian Pale of Settlement. Usually small and self-contained, for centuries Shtetls were vibrant centers of Jewish life and tradition. These simple definitions do not explain the importance and the influence of the Shtetl on the Jewish life and culture. In the first two sessions in our series, we explore answers to many questions about the phenomenon of the Shtetl: What was so unique about the Shtetl? Why do some researchers call the Shtetl a “Jewish Atlantis”? What made the life of the Jewish Community in a Shtetl so special? What makes a town a Shtetl? What did the Shtetl look like and who actually lived there? Were there any non-Jews in the Shtetl? Was there any culture in the Shtetl? What did Shtetl Jews value? How was Shtetl life organized? We will also discuss food, traditions, language, beliefs, jobs, community structure and other important elements of the Shtetl’s everyday life.

Evgenia Kempinski is a Russian Jew born and raised in St. Petersburg. Her family was originally from the Pale of Settlement – Poland, Ukraine and Belorussia – and endured the suppression of Judaism in the Soviet Union then the rebirth of Jewish culture and religious life in today’s St. Petersburg. She has been an official St. Petersburg tour guide for over 15 years and is the founder and owner of St.Petersburg Jewish Tours – a company offering Jewish travelers a unique experience of showcasing the best of Russia from a Jewish point of view. She currently lives in Haifa, Israel, still keeping close connections with St. Petersburg and its Jewish community.

CSP Partners: Beth Israel (San Diego, CA), Brotherhood Synagogue (Gramercy Park, NYC), Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, CA, Shomrei Torah Synagogue (San Fernando Valley, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Temple Emanuel (Newton, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY), University Synagogue (Irvine, CA), Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA) & Walnut Street Synagogue (Chelsea, MA)


Thursday, September 1, 2022
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:


San Diego, CA United States


Adult Education