Ethnographic Field School in Rybnitsa

On August 1-11, 2019, a field expedition school will be held in Rybnitsa (Transnistria), organized by the center "Sefer" and with the support of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the research group "RybnitsaRebbe and the city of Rybnitsa" (Ph. D. N. M. Kaspina, prof. DovberKerler, prof. V. Dymshits) with the support of the Jewish Museum and tolerance center grant for research activities in the framework of the charitable program "Research of history and culture of Jews in Russia (pre-Petrine Russia, the Russian Empire, the USSR and the post-Soviet space)".


The field school in Rybnitsa will be a continuation of the research of the center "Sefer", which took place in this region in2008,2011,2017,2018. As the results of the previous activities here very interesting materials and memories of the famous RybnitsaRebbe, Chaim Zanvl Abramovich, who lived in the city from 1941 to 1972were collected. The presence of a bright religious leader in the city influenced not only the Jewish community of the city, the Rebbe was also known to non-Jewish residents of Rybnitsa, which gave rise to a large layer of non-Jewish folklore about Jews and their rabbis.

The uniqueness of Rybnitsa lies in its location in the disputed political region, in which many phenomena of the Soviet era were preserved. Being between Ukraine and Moldova, Transnistria remained committed to the Russian language and Soviet culture. In the context of Jewish history for Transnistria is significant, the intersection of two historic regions of Podolia and Bessarabia, with their different folklore and ethnographic traditions, and in Transnistria preserved elements of the traditional Jewish culture, which is characteristic for both regions.
In 2019, we plan to work not only in Rybnitsa itself, but also in the surrounding cities: Rezina, Kolbasna, Dubossary, Grigoriopol, Kamenka, as well as in the former Jewish agricultural colony Gershunovka, and in a number of villages of Rybnitsa district.


We invite those researchers who already have experience in field research (anthropology, ethnography, folklore, oral history) to participate in the school. The use of your own equipment (voice recorders, cameras, camcorders, laptops) is mandatory; knowledge of Yiddish will be an advantage in the selection procedure.

To participate in the school, pleasecomplete the application formbefore May 15. The selection will be made until May 25. For new participants, a personal Skype interview will be a mandatory qualifying stage after submitting the questionnaire.