Tatar-Polish-Jewish-Ukrainian Youth seminar started near Lviv
On July 22, the jubilee (tenth) Tatar-Polish-Jewish-Ukrainian inter-religious youth seminar titled “The Ark” held under the slogan “Do justice when striving for peace” was officially opened at the Holy Dormition Lavra of Studite monastery in the village of Univ.
“The seminar venue was chosen not by chance. In the terrible years of World War II in this Greek Catholic monastery whose abbot was then Klyment Sheptytskyy of the blessed memory, the Studite Brethren, answering the call of Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyy, hid in their orphanage (thus saving from death in concentration camps or export to the Reich) over a hundred of Jewish and Polish children. In addition, the monastery is located near Peremyshliany –the place of ministry of Omelian Kovch, one of the blessed martyrs of the Ukrainian people– the famous “pastor Majdanek.” Since then the land has been deemed sacred not only by Ukrainians, but also by Poles and Jews,” Myroslav Marynovych, the vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University says.
He said that at first the seminar was conceived and initiated in 2006 as a Polish-Jewish-Ukrainian Youth Summer School dedicated to problems of mutual understanding and mutual learning of the history and culture of the three peoples who had lived for centuries in our land. Last year the participants were joined by a group of Crimean Tatar youth, including those who were forced to leave their native Crimea, fleeing from Russian invaders.
The workshop organizers are the Ukrainian Catholic University, the Federation of Polish organizations in Ukraine and Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust “Tkuma.” Further the Consulate of Poland in Lviv joined them.
Every year the participants meet famous scholars, public and political leaders, people of culture and arts.
This year the seminar classes are conducted by: Aaron Weiss, a renowned Israeli historian from Jerusalem, born in Boryslav, who was saved together with his family from the Holocaust by two local families – a Ukrainian and a Polish family; Professor Pawel Kowal from Warsaw (a former MEP); Myroslav Marynovych, UCU Vice-Rector (former dissident, years-long prisoner of conscience in the Soviet concentration camps); Taras Wozniak, editor of the cultural magazine ‘Yi’; Alim Aliyev, co-founder of the civic initiative Crimea-SOS; Ihor Shchupak, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust “Tkuma”; Emilia Khmeleva, chair of the Federation of Polish organizations in Ukraine; Ihor Martynenko, director of Hnat Khotkevych Lviv Palace of Culture.
During the four “national days” (Polish, Crimean Tatar, Jewish, and Ukrainian one), which are a mandatory part of the seminar program, the participants have the opportunity to meet, among others, with famous performers, this year, for example with Pikkardiyska Tertsiya.
“In addition to my admiration of the seminar faculty, I want to note with special pleasure the presence of an ATO participant as part of the Polish group, a soldier of Mykolaiv 79th airborne brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Vladislav Kuchinskyy, born 1992, who participated incombat operations between Ambrosiyivka and Marynivka,” UCU vice-rector said.
“The Ark” seminar was opened by hehumen of the Univ Holy Dormition Monastery, Father Illya (Mamchak), Consul General of Poland in Lviv Jaroslaw Drozd, Ambassador and Head of the Department of Culture to the Lviv City Council Irina Magdysh. Professor Pawel Kowal from Warsaw delivered the inaugural lecture titled “Peace and justice is an inseparable pair that goes along”.