By Raphael Ahren
Carrying a cake and translations of Sholem Aleichem’s works, about 50 young activists from the Jewish community of Kiev, Ukraine celebrated the famous Yiddish writer’s 150th birthday in his hometown of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky on Monday.
Born Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich, the popular humorist is most famous for his stories about Tevye the Milkman, who inspired the 1964 musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“It’s heartwarming that it is the younger generation that is celebrating Sholem Aleichem’s anniversary,” said Chaim Chesler, the founder of Limmud Former Soviet Union, which sponsored the trip, before boarding his plane back to Israel Tuesday.
“They are attracted to his works because of the timelessness of his humor. And that after all is what has kept the Jewish people alive all these years despite what we’ve gone through ¬ our humor and our belief.”
Limmud FSU, which organizes Jewish learning events in Eastern Europe and Israel, has chosen Sholem Aleichem as the central theme for its events this year, including its “Mega Conference” in Jerusalem in July.
Limmud FSU will celebrate the writer’s legacy on Thursday at Tel Aviv’s Beit Sholem Aleichem, with Mayor Ron Huldai.