EVENT: Bridging Divides. Rupture and Continuity in Polish Jewish History (May 23-26)

Glenn Dynner's picture

Bridging Divides. Rupture and Continuity in Polish Jewish History

In Honor of the 80th anniversary of the “Aktion Reinhard” and the 75th anniversary of the Jewish Historical Institute

May 23th-26th, 2022 (Monday-Thursday)

Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

3/5 Tłomackie Street, Warsaw, Poland


MONDAY, May 23rd

Opening – 17:00 CET

Welcome - Glenn Dynner, Monika Krawczyk, Katarzyna Person

Opening keynote - Samuel Kassow

TUESDAY, May 24th

Session 1 – 9:00 - 10:30 CET

Evolving Traditions: Polish Jewish Spirituality Chair and Respondent: Glenn Dynner

Alison B. Curry (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

The Last Honor: Jewish Ritual and the Cemetery in the Warsaw Region Between the Interwar Period and the Second World War

Samuel Glauber-Zimra (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

The Séance in Polish Jewish Life: A Case Study of Rupture and Continuity

Gabriella Licskó (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Alexander Hasidism before and after the Holocaust


Session 2 – 10:45 - 12:15 CET

Women in Polish Jewish Religious Life Chair and Respondent: Daniel Reiser

Tzipora Weinberg (New York University)

Still Small Voices: Female Prevalence in Polish Rabbinic Literature, 1900-1945

Elly Moseson (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research)

Mar’in bishin: The Sexual Nightmare of Eastern European Jewish Women

Glenn Dynner (Sarah Lawrence College)

The Polish Hasidah: Beyond Masculine Definitions of Hasidism Partners: Part of the program:

Session 3 – 13:15 – 14:45 CET

Polish Jewry in Literature and Film Chair and Respondent: Karolina Szymaniak

Daniel Bouskila (Yeshiva University)

Asonovski, Szibucz and Buczacz: SY Agnon’s Theological Meditations on the Plight of Eastern European Jewry

Sarah Ellen Zarrow (Western Washington University)

Jewish Life in Poland as Documented on Film: Continuities and Ruptures

Aleksandra Kremer (Harvard University)

Holocaust Poems in Polish-Language Journals before 1950


Session 4 – 15:00 - 16:00 CET

Panel on Archives and Museums Chair and Respondent: Stephen Naron

Jonathan Brent (Executive Director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research)

The oldest Jewish archival institution

Monika Krawczyk (Director of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute)

Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw: ‘Mother’ of All Jewish Museums in Poland

Albert Stankowski (Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum)

Challenges for New Warsaw Ghetto Museum

Zygmunt Stępiński (Director of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews)

POLIN Museum – Shrine for History of Polish Jews


16:15 CET - Guided tour of the Jewish Historical Institute’s permanent exhibition: What we were unable to shout out to the world


19:30 CET – Screening of Who Will Write Our History in Kino Muranów



Session 1 – 9:00 - 11:00 CET

Writing the Polish Jewish Self Chair and Respondent: Francois Guesnet

Maria Ferenc (Jewish Historical Institute) Partners: Part of the program:


Life and what comes after. Study of biography and memory of Mordechai Anielewicz as a challenge to historiographical divides

Yaron Nir Freisager (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Josef Zelkowicz and the Circle of Intellectuals in the Lodz Ghetto

Lidia Zessin-Jurek (Czech Academy of Sciences)

“Three times a refugee” - exile as a leading motif in the memoirs of Polish Jews

Ula Madej-Krupitski (McGill University)

Polish Jewish émigrés and the ‘old country’


Session 2 – 10:45 – 12:45 CET

Reframing Antisemitism and the Holocaust Chair and Respondent: Katarzyna Person

Ania Switzer (University of British Columbia)

Antisemitism as a cultural code in Poland

Jan Burzlaff (Harvard University)

Surviving as a Social Process

Alicja Podbielska (Yale University)

“Our feelings toward Jews have not changed”: Polish underground press on help and rescue

Lea Ganor (Bar-Ilan University)

Life Stories of Holocaust Survivors with Polish and European roots who served as Air Crew Members in the Israeli Air Force


Session 3 – 13:45 – 14:45 CET

Polish Jewish Philanthropic Networks Chair and Respondent: Anna Cichopek-Gajraj

Karolina Kołpak (Yale University)

The history of the Warsaw Kolonie Letnie Society, 1882-1939

Samir Saadi (University of Warsaw)

The HIAS in Poland in the II Republic and after the Holocaust (until 1949): comparative approach

Dikla Yogev (University of Toronto)

The Bais Yaakov Network – A Case Study of the Multiple Dimensions of Orthodox Community


Session 4 – 15:00 – 16:15 CET

Presentation on Jewish Historical Institute’s resources Chair and respondent: Andrzej Żbikowski Partners: Part of the program: Library – Marzena Zawanowska

Heritage Documentation Department – Alicja Mroczkowska

Archive – Michał Czajka

Art Department – Michał Krasicki


16:30 CET – Keynote by Naomi Seidman


19:00 CET - Zisl Slepovitch Ensemble outdoor concert in Krasiński Garden

The Songs from Testimonies project collects and records songs and poems discovered in the accounts found in the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. The musician-in-residence, Zisl Slepovitch, took the songs, conducted research about their origins, then arranged and recorded versions with his ensemble, featuring Sashe Lurje.

The performers:

Joshua Camp - accordion, piano, additional vocals

Dmitry Ishenko – contrabass, additional vocals

Craig Judelman – violin, additional vocals

Sasha Lurje – leading vocals

D. Zisl Slepovitch – composer, clarinet, vocals

THURSDAY, May 26th

Guided tour of Jewish Warsaw – 9:00 CET

The overwhelming presence of the Warsaw Ghetto

Guide: Olga Szymańska, Education Department


Closing of the Conference – 11:30 CET

Concluding Remarks and State of the Field discussion