The first Сlass of the Sunday University

Tkuma the All-Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies and Memory of the Jewish People and the Holocaust in Ukraine Museum have launched a new educational project, the Sunday University. The very idea of ??a series of lectures in the format of free classroom attendance in the Tkuma Center is nothing new. In particular, the director of the Center and Museum, Dr. Igor Schupak conducted similar lessons in other cities and even countries. With the opening of the Museum, the Tkuma Center has found a worthy site for the Sunday University already in its hometown.

However, in practice it turnout out that even the Museum capacity was not enough to accommodate all who wanted to hear the lecture. A video room, which also serves as a lecture hall and is designed for 40 people, eagerly accepted more than 80 “students” on that day.

The audience gathered was very diverse: people of different professions, religions and ages. Teachers and doctors, historians, journalists and ordinary workmen, students and senior citizens, Christians, Jews, and even atheists came to listen to the “Book of Books: Holy Scriptures and the historical document” (that was exactly how the topic of the Sunday University first lecture sounded). Perhaps you could say the pairs given are not contradictory enough. And yet they reflect the universality of the format, relevance of the topic, and even, we dare to assume, shortage of such education and training activities in the city. We are pleased to note that these projects are in demand in such a “mixed” audience.

But ok, let us get back directly to the lecture. Dr. Igor Shchupak, in his usual manner, could not limit himself to informing those present on the topic only. In his story, he raised a lot of questions, from the history of the Jewish people to the tolerance in all respects.

During the class, the lecturer helped the audience to understand and distinguish between the concepts of the Bible, Torah, Tanakh, The Old and New Testament, the Gospel. He spoke of the differences in the perception of the Bible by Christians and Jews, told about the significance of the Bible as a historical document, etc.

“Christians, who read the Bible, as well as Jews, read the history of the Jewish people. How authentic is it? You will not believe it, but it is in many ways. It is so trustworthy that archaeologists are doing research in Israel, using the Torah as a map. And one must say a big thanks to Arabs and the Eastern tradition, through which ancient names passed through the centuries and have remained the same”, emphasized the historical significance of the Book of books Igor Shchupak.

The lecturer managed to develop a theme in the spirit of the Jewish-Christian dialogue with regard to the Holy Scriptures as the foundation of Christianity and Judaism: making a comparison, but not the opposition, unveiling different opinions, but not mutually exclusive. It is always hard to talk such controversial topics. And that was where we took our hat off to the skill of the lecturer, who managed to maintain fairness and impartiality.

In the end of the lecture the audience received a notice about the next class at the Sunday University, to be held a month later to focus on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  In addition, the second meeting of the History Club was announced. Its guest of honor will be the famous Kyiv historian Ivan Patrilyak. The event will include a presentation of his two books: “Get Up And Fight, Listen And Believe” and “Victory Or Death”, both dedicated to the study of the Ukrainian liberation movement and the nationalist underground in 1939-1960. Given the firmness of the author’s position, one can already confidently say that the discussion is going to be quite hot.

It is interesting that the discussion with students was not over with the end of the lecture. The communication moved into a questions and answers session, during which the students could ask about the matters they were shy or maybe through other reason decided not to touch during the lecture. It took Igor Shchupak another hour to help interested students sort out the disputable issues of history.