The Program of Ukrainian and Jewish Ukrainian Studies
The first of its kind in Israel, the new Program at Tel Aviv University, coordinated by Dr. Rafael Vago, will encourage a new generation of Israelis to study the history and current affairs of the Ukraine, as well as the unique cultural legacy and contribution of Ukrainian Jewry. It will also promote closer ties between Israel and the Ukraine and support Ukrainian-born students at the University.
Israel and Ukraine have much in common. Both are young democracies seeking to build a successful market economy. Both are seeking closer cooperative ties with Europe; Israel in particular is intensifying its ties with Eastern European nations. Ukraine is home to over 500,000 Jews – the fifth largest Jewish community in the world – while Israel’s immigrant Ukrainian population numbers over 200,000.
The collapse of the Soviet Union significantly improved conditions for research projects on Ukrainian Jewry, including the opening of formerly sealed archives, the new ease of accessibility to the Ukraine, and an entire new generation of scholars who grew up in the former Soviet Union but are now able to pursue original research using the most advanced methods.
With these research resources now in place, the potential for increased mutual understanding, exchange and cooperation is considerable. It was in this context that Tel Aviv University launched the Program in Ukrainian and Jewish Ukrainian Studies as a timely opportunity to bring the rich legacy of Ukrainian and Jewish Ukrainian heritage to a broader public, as well as to boost understanding between Israelis and Ukrainians for the benefit of closer and more productive academic and cultural ties.
Activities of the Program:
The Program will work on two main levels: