A Jewish Williamsburg near Tel Aviv?

Earlier last week in Rishon Lezion, near Tel Aviv, construction began on the world’s first open-air shtetl theme park. Can a Disneyfied shtetl accurately portray the complex realities of that vanished world?

Project director and noted Holocaust historian Yaffa Eliach, commented: “The shtetl represents the greatness of Jewish life.” Eliach is a Holocaust suvivor who emigrated to Israel in 1946, later moving to New York and getting her PhD from City College in New York and later teaching at Brooklyn College. Eliach also founded the first Center for Holocaust Studies in the US, the precursor to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Battery Park City in downtown Manhattan.

(c/o The Forward)

One thought on “A Jewish Williamsburg near Tel Aviv?

  1. yaffa is good people. she was my prof at BC in the first CUNY Holocaust sourse ever. She is the one who trained me to interview people, which is what I do for a living. The shtetl idea is a little hokey, but Israelis don’t have the same depth of knowledge American Jews have about their Eastern European History. Do I think the shtetl was the best of? well, that’s a whole other story. 🙂

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