In July 2015, 12 Hillel professionals travelled to Poland to explore the renaissance of Jewish life occurring across the country. Jews are a global people, and so too the members of the group came from North America, the Former Soviet Union, Israel and Europe. In Poland, they explored not only the tragedies of the past, but also the richness of Polish Jewish history, and the vibrancy of the Jewish present for contemporary Polish Jewish young adults. Together they explored a question that is central to our work at Hillel – how do we bring Judaism to life in the hearts and minds of college students today? Follow their journey in this short documentary video.
Preview the POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition of 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland.
A short film by The Forward on JCC Krakow‘s Choir, featuring the multi-generational ensemble that sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Polish.
Dr. Jonathan Webber, a British social anthropologist with special expertise on European Judaism and European Jews, is a co-founder of the Auschwitz-Birkenau International Council and co-creator of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków. In this fascinating and foundational podcast, Dr. Webber describes the conservation challenges of preserving Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is simultaneously a historical site, a place of memory, and a tourism site.
Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Chief Curator of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, presents her bold approach to the Museum’s Core Exhibition that opened in the spring of 2013. It makes sense that a museum depicting a thousand years of Jewish history would be based where the story took place but, somehow, it had been tough to convince Americans to help fund the Museum of the History of Polish Jews that was being built in Warsaw. Dr. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is NYU cultural anthropologist and museologist, and Chief Curator of the POLIN Museum.
Konstanty Gebert speaks about the upswing in Poland’s Jewish community since the fall of the Soviet empire. The lecture took place in March, 2013 at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Konstanty Gebert is a journalist, former Solidarity dissident, a Jewish activist, and one of Poland’s notable war correspondents of the Balkan War. Gebert was a leading organizer of the “Jewish Flying University” and founding publisher in 1997 of Midrasz, a Polish-Jewish monthly magazine. He continues to publish a weekly political column in Gazeta Wyborcza.
Dr. Samuel Kassow speaks on the Emanuel Ringelblum Archives, now housed at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, in Warsaw, Poland, and on Oneg Shabbos, the group in the Warsaw Ghetto that created and hid the archives. Dr. Kassow is Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College, and is the lead historian in two galleries of the POLIN Museum’s core exhibition. He is the author of the prize-winning book, Who will Write our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Secret Ghetto Archive (Indiana, 2007).