JQ251 - February 2023

The Jews of Ukraine:

Baal Shem Tov to Zelensky

This issue of The Jewish Quarterly explores the rich, tragic, tumultuous history of the Jews of Ukraine, who have played a pivotal role in modern religious, cultural and intellectual Jewish life. Ukraine has been the site of some of the darkest moments in Jewish history, yet its Jews were central to the foundation of the Hasidic and Zionist movements and to the advancement of Hebrew and Yiddish literature, as well as to the evolution of modern-day Ukraine.

In a probing essay, Vladislav Davidzon, who has been observing and writing about Ukrainian Jewish life for more than a decade, explores the turbulent history and uncertain future of a community whose fate has often had repercussions for the world beyond.

The issue also includes an essay by David Herman on the first seventy years of The Jewish Quarterly, a feature by Tali Lavi on the unusual Yiddish renaissance unfolding in Australia's second-largest city, an account by Harvey Belovski of a life-changing event that shaped the philosophy of Maimonides, and more.

Jonathan Pearlman


Jonathan Pearlman is the editor of The Jewish Quarterly. He is also editor of Australian Foreign Affairs and world editor of The Saturday Paper. He previously worked at The Sydney Morning Herald, covering foreign affairs and politics, and as a correspondent in the Middle East. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Diplomat, Good Weekend, Australian Book Review and The Jerusalem Report, and he has been a Walkley Award finalist and United Nations Media Award winner. He studied at the University of New South Wales and Oxford University.

Our aim is to feature great writers engaging with today’s world – the politics, the dilemmas, the culture – in ways that explore and expose the complexities and curiosities, rather than simplify them. Each issue will address diverse topics and will, I hope, include writing that is compelling, surprising, enriching and a pleasure to read. 
 — Jonathan Pearlman, Editor, The Jewish Quarterly