In the Soviet Union, shtetls were once home to the largest Jewish population in the world. Only a few survived the Holocaust, and those that did were all located in the territory of the modern Ukraine and Moldova. In those small and remote towns, hidden from the world outside of the Iron Curtain, traditional Jewish life continued for decades after it disappeared everywhere else. The tight-knit communities supported themselves by providing goods and services to their non-Jewish neighbors. The ancient religion, Yiddish language and folklore, ritualized cooking and elaborate craftsmanship were practiced, treasured and passed through the generations until very recently.
Katya Ustinova's SHTETLERS follows nine very different people, now scattered around the world, who once belonged to the Jewish and non-Jewish shtetl communities. Their memories are a farewell to the vanished world of shtetl, a melting pot of cultures that many nations once called their home.