Mon Mar 04 2024


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


San Francisco

Among Cossacks & Commissars: A History of Ukrainian Jews

This presentation journeys through three specific time periods related to Jews in the Ukraine. We’ll start with a discussion about the Kna’ani or pre-Ashkenazic Ukrainian Jewry in medieval times, the Crusades and the beginning of mass migrations from Western Europe into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which included Ukraine. We then focus on the Ukrainian shtetl, the development of the Yiddish language, Cossack massacres, and chafing under the oppression of the czars. Moving into the 20th century, we examine Jews and the Ukrainian War of Independence (1917-21), life under Stalin, the Babi Yar Massacre during the Holocaust, and Ukrainian Jewry before Putin’s invasion. 

Educator, writer, and Yiddish translator, Ken Blady was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Chassidic Brooklyn, where he attended yeshiva and rabbinical seminary. A San Francisco Bay Area resident since 1972, Ken has a B.A. in History from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in Clinical Counseling from CSU, East Bay. He is the author of “Jewish Communities in Exotic Places,” and author, editor, and translator of seven published Yiddish works.  A popular lecturer on a variety of Jewish themes Ken has been featured on many radio and TV talk shows and educational programs, including the BBC, The History Channel and the Voice of Israel. Ken has been offering lectures and classes on a variety of Jewish topics at the JCCSF for more than four decades. 

Free event at the JCCSF.

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