Historians find Jewish life perserved in Soviet Union's 'last Jewish city'

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The first and only team in 70 years is conducting field research on Jewish folklore in the historic region of Podolia, the only place in the Pale of Settlement where Jewish life survived the Holocaust intact.

The visiting scholars from St. Petersburg aren’t here to dwell on Jewish demise, however. They have come to document Jewish life in what expedition leader Valery Dymshits calls “the last Jewish city in the Soviet Union,” Mogilev-Podolsky.

As recently as the early 1990’s — before an exodus to the United States, Israel and Germany depleted the community — Yiddish was widely spoken on the streets here. Despite the community’s rapid contraction, the Jewish presence here perseveres.

With this rare continuity, Dymshits and his team of scholars have staked a claim as the first and only team in 70 years to conduct field research into the region’s Jewish folklore, recording scores of interviews along the way.

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