Graphic design by Elizabeth Jassem

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Making sense of the Jewish Revival in Contemporary Poland

Since the fall of Communism, Poland's small Jewish communities have undergone a significant revival, a process occurring in tandem with non-Jewish Poles' soul searching about their role in the Holocaust and the development of their interest in Jewish culture and Poland's Jewish past. This interest is visible in the mushrooming of Festivals of Jewish culture, the governmental sponsorship of new museums and memorials and the emergence of Jewish studies programs at multiple universities. How can we make sense of this phenomenon? Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, archival research and interviews, Zubrzycki shows why and how the revival of Jewish culture is part of broader process of redefinition of Polishness and the building of pluralism in contemporary Poland.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Genevieve Zubrzycki

Genevieve Zubrzycki is Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Associate at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREES) and the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies (CPPS). Her award-winning book, The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland (University of Chicago Press, 2006) examined the relationship between Polish nationalism and Catholicism, with specific attention to memory wars and the contested use of religious symbols by ultranationalist Poles at Auschwitz. It was recently translated into Polish (Kraków: Nomos, 2014). Prof. Zubrzycki is currently completing a new book on the on-going revival of Jewish communities in Poland and non-Jewish Poles' interest in all things Jewish. She has published on the topic in several journals and edited volumes.

Graphic design by Elizabeth Jassem

ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Non-Jewish Poles doing Jewish stuff...
and the Jews who love and hate them


Jewish heritage revival in Poland is a phenomenon that has attracted a great deal of attention and provoked many controversies. Described as the world's largest Jewish cemetery and the realm of "virtual Jewishness," Poland is a space where the non-Jewish interest in things Jewish has been looked upon with particular skepticism. American cultural anthropologist Erica Lehrer ventures into this territory, both fascinating and fraught with tension, giving a fresh glimpse into the backstage of the Jewish heritage industry.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Erica Lehrer

Erica Lehrer is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the departments of History and Sociology-Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana University Press 2013), and co-editor of Jewish Space in Contemporary Poland (Indiana University Press, 2014), and Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places (Palgrave 2010). As a curator, she produced the 2013 exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy: Poland's Jewish Figurines in Kraków's Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum, and published the accompanying catalog Lucky Jews (Ha!Art 2014).

PAST PROGRAM

Article in English by Ron Csillag for CJN
cjnews.com/news/new-polish-museum-jewish-life-called-stunning

Article in Polish by Małgorzata P. Bonikowska
gazetagazeta.com/2014/12/polin-takiego-muzeum-nie-ma-nigdzie-na-swiecie/