PASSPORT JOURNAL, volume 3 (English edition)
The third volume of Passport remains faithful to its essence, aesthetics and storytelling. It brings to the reader an immersive insight into the history of the Lithuanian Jews, also known as the Litvaks. It features engaging photo essays and conversations with inspiring individuals whose experience and wisdom are exemplary. Amid the comprehensive insights and features, this issue is focused on culture, heritage and the Litvak way of life, accentuating analytics and a diverse perception of current events.
CONTENTS (320 pages):
Part one · 80 pages: OFF SCRIPT
IN CONVERSATION WITH: Irena Veisaitė · Chaimas Šeras · Bella Shirin · Eugenijus Bunka · Adomas Jacovkis · Jokūbas Jacovskis · Aleksandra Jacovskytė · Rafailas Karpis · Adasa Skliutauskaitė · Moshe Beirak · Julijus Gurvičius · Daniel Gurevich · Adi Cohen-Hazanov · Domantas Likša
Part two · 64 pages: THE LITHUANIAN JEWS
FEATURING: The Lithuanian Jews: a brief history · Religion · Jewish cuisine · Languages of the Lithuanian Jews · Jews in politics · What exactly was a shtetl? · The Holocaust in Lithuania · The journey of Lithuanian Jewish cultural values through time and space
Part three · 48 pages: THE LITVAKS
STRAIGHT TALK WITH: Albie Sachs · Meryl Frank · Robbie Brozin · Philip Shapiro · Jenny Kagan
Part four · 80 pages: PHOTO ESSAY
SUBJECTS: Mosaic of Litvak history and heritage · Earliest Jewish communities in Lithuania · Litvaks and life in the shtetl · Jewish places of worship · The Jewish cemetery and its functions · Religious study in the Litvak tradition · Jewish merchants, artisans and innovators · Authentic Litvak cuisine · Yiddish – the cornerstone of Litvak culture · Shtetl – the imagined reality · Lithuanian sites of Holocaust remembrance
PEOPLE: Judita Gliauberzonaitė · Moisiejus Šapiro · Liudvikas Markuntavičius · Sergej Kanovich · Josifas Parasonis · Artūras Taicas · Riva Beraitė-Portnaja · Fania Jocheles-Brancovskaja · Fruma Vitkinaitė-Kučinskienė
Part five · 80 pages: HISTORY MATTERS
INSIGHTS: Kristina Sabaliauskaitė · Aurimas Švedas · Leonidas Donskis · Tomas Venclova · Saulius Sužiedėlis · Tomas Balkelis · Violeta Davoliūtė · Zigmas Vitkus · Viktoras Bachmetjevas · Vytautas Toleikis · Donatas Puslys · Audrius Karečka · Paulius Gritėnas
“Diversity is usually discussed in terms of different ethnic and religious communities co-existing in the same socioeconomic environment. However, when applying it to portray the life of one ethnic and religious group, the concept of diversity presents a very different perspective. This is the case when analysing the history of the remarkable and heterogeneous Jewish community in Lithuania. There are several indisputable foundational links within this community, such as common history and faith as well as any moral values and beliefs arising from it. But we can also observe an increasing number of differences, especially in the 19th century and beginning of the 20th.
The image of the Lithuanian Jewish community is multifaceted. One can almost visualise the shtetl and its wooden architecture, the stone structures of Vilnius with more than a hundred synagogues spread across the city; one can imagine the young faces leaning over the Holy Scriptures in quiet yeshivas or hear the hustle and bustle of the market square with its never-ending sound of people talking, horses neighing and children shouting; one might even catch a whiff of herring stored in huge barrels or the smell of fresh soft challah being shared in the candlelight of the Sabbath. These interwoven images eventually merge into a single narrative of Litvak history. The narrative of this community not only complements the way the history of Lithuania is told but is, in fact, its integral part.
Today we piece these scattered colourful fragments of everyday life into a mosaic of Litvak history and heritage. The story begins with the earliest Jewish communities which settled in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in small numbers. From this point on, the narrative diverges into a number of paths – from the culturally and economically unique world of the shtetl, to the flourishing of Jewish culture in the largest towns of the region, to the various aspects of the religious and everyday lives lived by the Litvaks. Hand in hand with these stories goes the tangible and intangible Litvak heritage, remaining in towns and villages across Lithuania, in the stories told and the memories shared. This legacy will help any attentive reader and observer (re)discover traces of the Litvak history surrounding us today.”
Dr Akvilė Naudžiūnienė
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