For several years now, the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE) has been taking part in the activities of the summer school sponsored by the Verba Magistri Methodology Lab. The summer session, which is organized every year by the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, is designed for lecturers and educators. This year, the summer school took place from 29 July to 10 August in the city of Uzhhorod.
Paul Robert Magocsi, Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Toronto (Canada) and member of UJE's Board of Directors, made a special trip to Ukraine, where he took part in a number of meetings during his nearly two-week-long visit. The main goal of the trip was to participate in the summer school. The program included four events with Prof. Magocsi's participation.
Professor Magocsi was introduced for the first time to this year's summer school participants on 1 August, during the lecture and subsequent discussion of "The Babyn Yar Tragedy: What We Know about It and Why/How We Remember It." This was followed by the launch of the second edition of Babyn Yar: History and Memory (2023). The distinguished Ukrainian historian and political scientist Vladyslav Hrynevych, Sr., from the Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, and the book's co-editor and co-author, was also in attendance. Prof. Iryna Zakharchuk of Rivne State University of the Humanities, one of the book's co-authors, also took part in the discussion.
On 2 August, a lecture/discussion of Prof. Magocsi's book Ukraina Redux: On Statehood and National Identity took place. The book, which was published in Ukraine in a bilingual Ukrainian/Englishformat in late 2022, is a revised version of the Expert's Report submitted to the International Criminal Court in The Hague on behalf of the Government of Ukraine. In a succinct and highly readable fashion, it narrates the history of Ukrainian identity and statehood from ancient times to the current Russo-Ukrainian War.
During his third and last meeting with students and lecturers attending this year's summer school, Prof. Magocsi decided to pair teaching in the hall with a themed excursion featuring a visit to the Uzhhorod History Museum and a walk around the city. On 6 August, after the morning lecture/discussion of "Polycultural Ukraine, an Integral Part of Europe: Ethnic Diversity of the Carpathian Region" and a break for lunch, the participants boarded a large bus that took them to Uzhhorod Castle, where Prof. Magocsi delivered a lecture.
The themed excursion, "My Ukraine," lasted for three hours, during which Prof. Magocsi gave a detailed account of the history of the Carpathian region, the city of Uzhhorod, and the castle. During the tour of the city, he noted that it is important for Ukrainians to become aware of the history of all the peoples living on the territory of Ukraine, explaining that it is impossible to overestimate today the importance of unity among all Ukrainians, regardless of their ethnic origins.
In addition to participating in these events, Prof. Magocsi visited a considerable number of Transcarpathian towns and villages, including Berehove, Onokivtsi, Mukachevo, and others. Several events were also held in Uzhhorod.
All the summer school participants were presented with a selection of books about history and culture from UJE.
Vladyslav Hrynevych. Jr. Regional Manager,
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Ukrainians and Jews have lived as neighbours for centuries, creating and sharing enduring cultures that continue to inform their identities today. Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE) is proud to present Part 1 of an integrated narrative of these two peoples in the belief that there is much to be gained by viewing their historical experience together, in all its complexity.
As Ukraine defends its very existence against Russia, the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Timeline serves to counter the malicious and false narratives about Ukraine and its history. The Timeline demonstrates that Ukraine is home to diverse peoples and, for centuries, one of the world’s oldest and largest Jewish communities.
The 'Encounter' prize aims to build on the common experiences of Ukrainians and Jews over the centuries, expressed in literature and nonfiction. The Prize will be awarded annually to the most influential work in literature and nonfiction (in alternate years) that fosters Ukrainian-Jewish understanding, helping solidify Ukraine's place as a multi-ethnic society and giving truth to the motto, "Our stories are incomplete without each other."
The goal of the richly illustrated catalogue is to present an integrated narrative that looks at the experience of these two peoples together, in all its complexity — through periods of crisis, as well as long stretches of normal co-existence and multifaceted cultural interaction from antiquity to 1914.