June 6, October 7… Again June 6

Exactly one year ago, on June 6, 2023, a monument to the great Jewish classic writer Sholem Aleichem was erected on the grounds of Tel Aviv University. This brilliant author wrote in his native language, Yiddish, demonstrating the uniqueness of its culture by his genius style, humor and subtle depictions of the shtetl characters.

The idea of ​​creating and installing the monument stemmed from Dr. Mark Zilberquit’s vision of promoting Yiddish culture. It was implemented by the foundations he created: The Heritage Projects Foundation (USA) and Yiddish Culture Preservation Foundation (Israel). The monument’s opening ceremony had an important symbolic meaning: it also opened the project “Sholem Aleichem’s Year at TAU”. In those days, big plans were made and the project’s program was discussed. In particular, it was planned to hold an academic conference and a festival of Yiddish culture in October 2024, and to begin a systematic study of various Yiddish materials discovered by Dr. Zilberquit in the archives of several countries.

TAU Vice-President Amos Elad, Julia Zilberquit, Mark Zilberquit, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porad, Leonard Blavatnik

On October 7, 2023, the Israeli-Hamas war began, disrupting the regular civil life in Israel. Unfortunately, this situation affected the project as a whole. The plan to hold a Yiddish conference and a festival is postponed at the moment. Nevertheless, under the leadership of Prof. Yair Lipshitz and Dr. Ruthie Abeliovich, the students research work is still carried out as planned. Despite the enormous difficulties of wartime, the university continues its artistic and research activities, including in such an important field as the study of the Yiddish language and its great culture.

TAU students are working on archival materials related to Sholem Aleichem.