Письма Лейви-Ицхока Вайнштейна Семену Акимовичу Ан-скому [перевод с идиша Наталии Риндюк; предисловие и комментарии Ирины Сергеевой и Наталии Риндюк]

Letters from Levi Itzhok Vainshtein to Semen Akimovich An-sky

[translated from Yiddish by Natalia Ryndiuk; preface and commentaries by Iryna Serheyeva and Natalia Ryndiuk]

(the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine)

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 4 (2015): 137-162

Publication date: December 1, 2015

Publication type: source publication

Language: Russian

Full text:



In 1912, Semen An-sky organized the Jewish Ethnographic Expedition to the “Pale of Settlement.” According to the reports published in 1915–1917, the Expedition investigated about 70 towns, collected more than 700 artifacts for the Jewish Museum, several hundred documents and letters, and about 100 manuscripts. It also recorded more than 2000 legends, folktales, and customs; as many as 1000 instrumental and synagogue melodies, folk songs, and so forth. Hundreds of synagogues, tombstones, ritual and rare objects were photographed.
In 1912–1913, An-sky and his colleagues and coworkers from the Higher Courses on Oriental Studies devised the special Jewish Ethnographic Program, posing questions that had helped in collecting and systematization of materials on all spheres of Jewish life.
In 1930s many the Expedition’s archival documents were transferred to the National Library of Ukraine, including the private archive of An-sky. Among those collections, 13 letters from Levi Itzhok Vainshtein to An-sky are preserved. Vainshtein was a secretary of the Expedition and took an active part in systematization of the materials and devising of the Program. Thus, his letters make it possible to better understand the route of the Expedition, as well as to receive new information about its organization, finds, and collections for the Jewish Museum in St. Petersburg.

Keywords: Semen Akimovich An-sky, Levi Itzhok Vainshtein, Yiddish studies, Pale of Settlement, Oriental Studies



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DOI 10.14653/ju.2015.09