The classic of Yiddish literature, Sholom Aleichem, is a prominent writer of the past whose works stood the test of time and belong to the treasure house of the world culture.
“Sholom Aleichem” stands for “Peace to you”! This was the greeting echoing in every heart that over a hundred years ago Sholom Rabinovich, who soon became the most popular and the most favorite writer, gave to the Jewish people.
Sholom Aleichem Museum was opened in Kyiv on 2, March 2009 at 5A, Velyka Vasylkivska Sr. as a branch of Kyiv History Museum. A lot of visitors wonder at the location of the Museum as it is situated at the Arena-City shopping moll (next to Besarabskiy Market). But such decision can be explained. The house that was built in the middle of XIX century, and in which Sholom-Aleikhem lived in Kyiv, was destroyed in 2009. The time at that house was the most productive period of Sholom-Aleikhem literature career. There he wrote “Menahem-Mendl”, “In A Little World of Little People”, “New Kasrylivka” (“The whole of Berdychiv”), some novels from “Tevye the Milkman” and dozens or even hundreds of short novels.
Exposition of the Museum is dedicated not only to works of this outstanding Jewish author, poet, playwrighter, publicist but also to substantial and spiritual culture of East European Jews. In the exposition you can find materials dedicated to Jewish architecture of Ukraine, unique art of Jewish stonecutters (tombstones – matzevas), fragments of the films based on the works of Sholom Aleichem, antique Jewish books; one can have a closer look on «Beilis affair» (trial, which captured the attention not only of Russian, but of European society of the beginning of XX century).
Nevertheless, main themes of the Museum’s display are Sholom Aleichem and Kyiv & Sholom Aleichem and Ukraine. This is entirely logical, since Kyiv played an important role in the writer’s life: this is where he was shaped and developed, both as an individual and as a writer. This is where he longed to be as a young man and a well-known writer living outside of the borders of the Russian Empire, this is where he expressed the will to be buried, next to his father, as he laid sick in New York.
“Kyiv is my city. Staying away from it makes me sad”, – such was Sholom Aleichem’s response to the greeting telegram from Kyiv on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his literary work. (Italy, 1908).
Sholom Aleichem lived in Kyiv in 1887-1890 and 1893-1905. After Jewish pogroms in 1905 he left with his family for Switzerland, then – for Germany. In 1914 he was deported from Germany as a Russian citizen and vent to New York, where he spent the last years of his life. In America, Sholom Aleichem missed his homeland and was dreaming of returning home with the first steam boat. However, this dream was not to come true. An illness weakened his body and he was bedridden for a long time. On І3, May 1916 Sholom Aleichem passed away. Thousands of people gathered in the streets to bid him farewell.
The doors of Sholom Aleichem Museum in Kyiv are wide open for the visitors! At the exposition hall there is a little stage for concerts and performances. Here you can also attend conferences or visit exhibitions of modern Jewish artists.
Kyiv, 5 Velyka Vasylkivska Str.
(metro station “Khreshchatyk”, “Lva Tolstoho”)
10.00-18.00 (ticket office until 17.30)
Monday – closed
Last Thursday of each month — closed
Order of excursions:
Tel: +380 (44) 235-17-34