The Legacy of the Partisan Song

Zog Nit Keynmol – the partisan song

A simple request from King David High School in Johannesburg has now snowballed into an international project involving schools in South Africa, Australia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Moldova.

This is an amazing opportunity for this beautiful and inspiring song to be heard. Sung by young students, it rekindles hope for their and future generations.

Please contact me at to find out how your school or organisation can become involved.

Click on the link below and read more details about this anthem and how this project developed.

Zog Nit Keynmol

King David Linksfield

King David Linksfield

King David Victory Park

My radio interview on ChaiFM on 7 February.

Click here  Zog Nit Keynmol for more details on the project and videos used in the presentation.

ORT Solomo Aleichemo, Vilnius, Lithuania

On 11 January 2017, I was asked by Rabbi Craig Kacev, head of Jewish Studies at King David Schools, Johannesburg, South Africa, whether I could make a presentation to the students at the Linksfield…

Click here to continue with more details:

Touring Kyiv


My guide

Margarita Lopatina was recommended  by the CHABAD Rabbi in Kiev

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.11.00 PM

Margo met me at my hotel, The Kozatskiy in Maidan Square at 10am.

We spent the next 3 hours on her walking tour.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 11.04.52 PM

Ukrainian Revolution

DSC_6128 DSC_6132 DSC_6133 DSC_6168 DSC_6169
2014 Ukrainian revolution
Part of the Euromaidan
2014-02-21 11-04 Euromaidan in Kiev.jpg

A crowd in Kiev on 21 February, 2014 after a peace agreement was signed.
Date 18–23 February 2014 (5 days)[1][2][3]
Location Mariinsky Park and Instytutska Street, Maidan NezalezhnostiKiev, Ukraine
50°27′0″N 30°31′27″E
Result Euromaidan/Opposition victory

20,000–100,000+ protesters 7,000+ government forces[11]
Deaths: 100[12]
Injured: 1,100+[14][15]
Arrested: 77[16]
Deaths: 13[17]
Injured: 272[15]
Captured: 67[18]
Deaths: 106
Injuries: 1811
Ministry of Healthcare totals (16 April @6:00 LST)[19]Dead & missing during entire conflict: 780
Medical volunteer estimates[20]

A Previous Jewish mansion

DSC_6134 DSC_6135 DSC_6136 DSC_6138 DSC_6139 DSC_6140 DSC_6142 DSC_6145 DSC_6147 DSC_6151 DSC_6156 DSC_6158 DSC_6159 DSC_6161

 Buildings & Memorials

DSC_6162 DSC_6163 DSC_6165 DSC_6166 DSC_6174 DSC_6175 DSC_6184 DSC_6185 DSC_6186 DSC_6187 DSC_6188 DSC_6189 DSC_6193 DSC_6194 DSC_6195 DSC_6196 DSC_6197 DSC_6219 DSC_6223 DSC_6224 DSC_6228 DSC_6230 DSC_6231 DSC_6232 DSC_6233 DSC_6234 DSC_6235 DSC_6236 DSC_6238


DSC_6207 DSC_6208 DSC_6209 DSC_6210 DSC_6211 DSC_6213 DSC_6214 DSC_6216 DSC_6217

The Market

DSC_6672 DSC_6243 DSC_6254 DSC_6255 DSC_6250 DSC_6253 DSC_6248 DSC_6249

Golda Meir

DSC_6263 DSC_6262 DSC_6264

Sholem Aleichem



Margo on Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sholem Aleichem
Born Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich
March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859
PereyaslavRussian Empire(now Ukraine)
Died May 13, 1916 (aged 57)
New York CityUnited States
Pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddishשלום־עליכם‎)
Occupation Writer
Genre Novels, short stories, plays
Literary movement Yiddish revival

Sholem Aleichem statue in Netanya, Israel, sculpted by Lev Segal

Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem (Yiddish and Hebrewשלום־עליכם‎‎; Russianand UkrainianШоло́м-Але́йхем) (March 2 [O.S. February 18] 1859 – May 13, 1916), was a leading Yiddish author and playwright. The musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe. The Hebrew phrase Shalom aleichem literally means “Peace be upon you”, and is a greeting in traditional Hebrew and Yiddish.


Solomon Naumovich (Sholom Nohumovich) Rabinovich (RussianСоломо́н Нау́мович (Шо́лом Но́хумович) Рабино́вич) was born in 1859 in Pereyaslav and grew up in the nearby shtetl (small town with a large Jewish population) of Voronko, in the Poltava Governorateof the Russian Empire (now in the Kiev Oblast of central Ukraine).[1] His father, Menachem-Nukhem Rabinovich, was a rich merchant at that time.[2] However, a failed business affair plunged the family into poverty and Solomon Rabinovich grew up in reduced circumstances.[2] When he was 13 years old, the family moved back to Pereyaslav, where his mother, Chaye-Esther, died in a choleraepidemic.[3]

Sholem Aleichem’s first venture into writing was an alphabetic glossary of the epithets used by his stepmother. At the age of fifteen, inspired by Robinson Crusoe, he composed a Jewish version of the novel. He adopted the pseudonym Sholem Aleichem, a Yiddishvariant of the Hebrew expression shalom aleichem, meaning “peace be with you” and typically used as a greeting. In 1876, after graduating from school in Pereyaslav, he spent three years tutoring a wealthy landowner’s daughter, Olga (Hodel) Loev (1865 – 1942).[4]From 1880 to 1883 he served as crown rabbi in Lubny.[5] On May 12, 1883, he and Olga married, against the wishes of her father. A few years later, they inherited the estate of Olga’s father. In 1890, Sholem Aleichem lost their entire fortune in a stock speculation and fled from his creditors. Solomon and Olga had their first child, a daughter named Ernestina (Tissa), in 1884.[6] Daughter Lyalya (Lili) was born in 1887. As Lyalya Kaufman, she became a Hebrew writer. (Lyalya’s daughter Bel Kaufman, also a writer, was the author of Up the Down Staircase, which was also made into a successful film.) A third daughter, Emma, was born in 1888. In 1889, Olga finally gave birth to a son. They named him Elimelech, after Olga’s father, but at home they called him Misha. Daughter Marusi (who would one day publish “My Father, Sholom Aleichem” under her married name Marie Waife-Goldberg) was born in 1892. A final child, a son named Nochum (Numa) after Solomon’s father was born in 1901 (under the name Norman Raeben he became a painter and an influential art teacher).

After witnessing the pogroms that swept through southern Russia in 1905, Sholem Aleichem left Kiev and resettled to New York City, where he arrived in 1906. His family[clarification needed] set up house in GenevaSwitzerland, but when he saw he could not afford to maintain two households, he joined them in Geneva in 1908. Despite his great popularity, he was forced to take up an exhausting schedule of lecturing to make ends meet. In July 1908, during a reading tour in Russia, Sholem Aleichem collapsed on a train going through Baranowicze. He was diagnosed with a relapse of acute hemorrhagic tuberculosis and spent two months convalescing in the town’s hospital. He later described the incident as “meeting his majesty, the Angel of Death, face to face”, and claimed it as the catalyst for writing his autobiography, Funem yarid [From the Fair].[1] He thus missed the first Conference for the Yiddish Language, held in 1908 in Czernovitz; his colleague and fellow Yiddish activist Nathan Birnbaum went in his place.[7] Sholem Aleichem spent the next four years living as a semi-invalid. During this period the family was largely supported by donations from friends and admirers.

Sholem Aleichem moved to New York City again with his family in 1914. The family lived in the Lower East Side, Manhattan. His son, Misha, ill with tuberculosis, was not permitted entry under United States immigration laws and remained in Switzerland with his sister Emma.

Sholem Aleichem died in New York in 1916.

The Brodsky Synagogue

DSC_6269 DSC_6679 DSC_7003 DSC_6295 DSC_6274 DSC_6271 DSC_6272 DSC_6273 DSC_6275 DSC_6680 DSC_6276 DSC_6684 DSC_6683 DSC_6277 DSC_6280 DSC_6281 DSC_6282 DSC_6283 DSC_6284 DSC_6983 DSC_6292 DSC_6294 DSC_6286 DSC_6985 DSC_6987 DSC_6997

Brodsky Synagogue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brodsky Synagogue
Brodsky Synagogue.jpg
Basic information
Location UkraineKievUkraine
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Status Active
Architectural description
Architect(s) Georgiy Shleifer
Architectural style Romanesque Revival with elements of Moorish Revival
Completed 1898

The Brodsky Choral Synagogue is the largest synagogue in KievUkraine. It was built in the Romanesque Revival style resembling a classical basilica.[1] The original tripartite facade with a large central avant-corps flanked by lower wings also echoed the characteristic design of some Moorish Revival synagogues, such as the Leopoldstädter Tempel in Vienna.


The synagogue was built between 1897 and 1898. It was designed by Georgiy Shleifer. A sugar magnate and philanthropist Lazar Brodskyfinanced its construction.[2][3]

For many decades the local and imperial authorities forbade the construction of a monumental place of Jewish worship in Kiev, as they feared that this would facilitate the growth of the Jewish community in Kiev, which, being a big trading and industrial city, would then become an important Jewish religious center. This was considered “undesirable” due to the symbolic importance of Kiev, as the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy. It was only allowed to convert existing buildings into Jewish worship houses.

In 1895, permission was given to build a synagogue in the Podil district, a poor quarter of Kiev. The location was however too far from the city center where the wealthy Jews lived such that they could not walk there on Sabbath. They wished a big choral synagogue in the city center, similar to those in St. PetersburgMoscow and Odessa.[3]

To evade the ban, Brodsky and rabbi Evsey Tsukerman sent a complaint to the Governing Senate requesting a permission to build a worship house in the private estate of Brodsky. As an attachment they included only a side view drawing of the planned building which looked like a private mansion.[3][4][5][6] The permission was obtained, and the synagogue became an example of an Aesopian synagogue.

In 1926, the synagogue was closed down by the Soviet authorities. The building was converted into an artisan club.[5][7]

The building was devastated during the World War II by Nazis and was subsequently used as a puppet theatre.[5][3] An additional facade was built in the 1970s.

In 1997 the theatre moved into a new building. The old building was renovated and since 2000 it is again used as a synagogue.[2][5][6] The restoration was mainly financed by a media proprietor Vadim Rabinovich.[6] Currently it serves a Chabad-Lubavitch congregation.

End of the tour. Down to the Metro

DSC_6304 IMG_7676 DSC_6306 DSC_6307 DSC_6316 DSC_6315 DSC_6314 DSC_6308 DSC_6311 DSC_6313

Only half the day gone, now on to Podil


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of the modern Podil neighborhood.

Podil (UkrainianПоділ) is a historic neighborhood in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Kiev, and the birthplace of the city’s trade, commerce and industry. It contains many architectural and historical landmarks, and new archaeological sites are still being revealed. It is a part of the city’s larger administrative Podilskyi District.

Continued in the next post