Don’t let your eyes fool you.
It’s not a real Jewish wedding.
The “bride” and “groom” aren’t really Jewish. Either are most of the “parents” or the “rabbi.”
But the Jewish spirit was real.
As part of LvivKlezFest, a recent celebration of all things Jewish in Lviv (formerly Lvov), a city in Ukraine that was once home to a major Jewish community, the Street People acting troupe performed a traditional Jewish wedding (“A Hasene in Galitsiye”) outdoors on Staroyevreyska Street on the last day of the two-week festival.
Other events in LvivKlezFest, sponsored by the Ukraine’s Hesed-Arieh charitable foundation with the help of the Joint Distribution Committee, included, of course, klezmer performances, theater presentations, children’s games and puppeteers, an art exhibition, Israeli movies, tours of the city’s historic Jewish quarter, dancing, lectures, Jewish cuisine and handicrafts.
The festival featured performers from Israel, Austria, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.
About 70,000 Jews live in Ukraine today; about 5,000 in Lviv.
Past Jewish residents of Lviv included Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, philosopher Martin Buber and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal.