Conference Program Announced: "East Central Europe at the Crossroads: Jewish Transnational Networks and Identities" 18-20/06/2023 POLIN Museum

Aleksandra Jakubczak Discussion

This conference brings together the latest scholarship on the broad themes of transnationalism, intersectionality, and cross-border exchanges in Jewish history from the early modern period to the present.

On the first day of the conference, Tara Zahra will give the keynote lecture titled "European Jews between Globalization and Deglobalization." The conference will include panels with leading scholars from Europe, Israel, North America and South America. The goal is to form a better picture of the most current research on the subject of Jewish transnationalism. This will cover cultural, religious, economic, and social aspects of the topic.

Sunday, 18 June 2023

15:00–15:15 Opening Remarks 

15:15–16:15 Panel 1: Yiddishland in Global Perspective

Chair and respondent: Elisabeth Gallas

  • Carolin Piorun – Centers and Peripheries in Yiddishland. The Yiddish PEN Club and Its Transnational Network
  • Barbara Mann – "A bridge, four walls, and a beam": The Yiddish Little Magazine as a Site of Transnational Culture

16:15–16:45 Coffee break 

16:45–18:15 Panel 2: Soviet/Polish Diasporas – Stays and Returns

Chair and respondent: Dariusz Stola

  • Marcin Starnawski – A New Diaspora Space: Transnational Contacts Among Polish Jews after the 1968 Antisemitic Campaign
  • Amy Fedeski – Refuseniks no more? Transnational Jewish Refugee Politics, 1971-1980
  • Irina Nicorici – The Myth of Soviet Jewish No-Returns

18:30–20:00 Keynote lecture: Tara Zahra – European Jews between Globalization and Deglobalization

Monday, 19 June 2023

10:00–11:30 Panel 3: Thinking of Home After the Holocaust

Chair and respondent: Rebecca Kobrin

  • Ann-Christin Klotz – Restitution, Remembrance & Relief:  Polish-Jewish Survivor Landsmanshaftn as Agents of Migrant Self-help and Transnational Solidarity.
  • Claire Zalc (and Thomas Chopard) – Transnational Circulations of Jewish Remembrance of the Holocaust: the Case of the Lubartów Memorial Book
  • Eliyana Adler – Transnational Networks and the Resurrection of Dead Communities

11:30–12:00 Coffee break 

12:00–13:30 Panel 4: Moving Spirituality

Chair and respondent: Marcin Wodziński 

  • Ekaterina Oleshkevich – Tzaddik on Move: Long-Distance Relationship between the Chabad Rebbe and His Hasidim in the Interwar Period
  • Avinoam Stillman – A Kabbalist at the Crossroads: Meir Poppers Between Krakow and Jerusalem
  • Daniel Reiser – Vienna Post-World War I:  A Crossroad Between Modern Psychotherapy and Hasidic Spiritual Praxis

13:30–14:30 Lunch break

14:30–16:00 Panel 5: Jewish Popular Culture & Performance on the Move

Chair and respondent: Marcos Silber 

  • Karina Pryt – Jewish Pioneers of the Polish Film Industry and the Trajectories of Their Films. An Empirical Study with QGIS Set in 1910s Warsaw
  • Paula Ansaldo – The South American Jewish Theatre and the Transnational Networks of Yiddish Actors, 1930-1960
  • Raffaele Esposito – Yiddish and Hebrew Stage Across Land and Language Borders. A Transnational and Translinguistic Theatre in the First Half of the 20th century

16:00–16:30 Coffee break 

16:30–18:00 Panel 6: The Oriental Gaze in Yiddish

Chair and respondent: Barbara Mann

  • Nancy Sinkoff – Into Africa: A Polish Jewish Yiddish Journalist’s Travels through Colonial Africa On the Eve of World War II
  • William Pimlott – Conceptualizing Colonialism in a Comparative Perspective: The East Central European Yiddish Press in conversation with Argentina and South Africa, 1890-1920
  • Magdalena Kozłowska – "Un gliklekh zenen Yidn vos hobn nisht keyn geshikhte": Groshn-biblyotek on the 1934 Constantine Riots

18:00 Reception for panelists and invited guests

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 

9:00–10:30 Panel 7: Transnational Practices: Security, Crime and Production

Chair and respondent: Katrin Steffen

  • Netta Ehrlich – Jewish Security at a Crossroads: Self-Defense in Eastern Europe and the Land of Israel 1917-1921
  • Margarita Lerman – From the shtetl to Maxwell Street? Jewish Criminal Cooperation in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago 
  • James Nadel – The Threads that Bind: Textiles and Jewish Mercantile Networks Across Imperial Russia, 1891-1917

10:30–11:00 Coffee break 

11:00–12:30 Panel 8: Cultural Transfer

Chair and respondent: Kamil Kijek

  • Eli Lederhendler – Cultural Transfers and Transplanters: The East/East-Central European Jewish Heritage in American Jewish Life
  • Anya Zhuravel Segal – Moscow on the Spree: Russian Jews as Cultural Brokers in Berlin, 1919-1939
  • Marcos Silber – Jewish, Polish and Jewish-Polish Popular Culture in Transit: Transferring Transnationally, Transforming Locally

12:30–13:30 Lunch break 

13:30–15:00 Panel 9: Transplanting Aesthetics

Chair and respondent: Renata Piątkowska

  • Vladimir Levin – Transnational Synagogues: Architectural Features, Behavioral Modes, and Imagined Communities
  • Michael Lukin – The Premodern Yiddish Folk Song as an Expression of Transnational Experience
  • Anna Berezin – Jewish Ceremonial Textiles in East Central Europe: There and Back Again
  • Adriana Katzew – A New World: Unearthing Family Stories of Transnational Jewish Migration Through Art

15:00–15:30 Coffee break

15:30–17:00 Panel 10: Dollars for Soup Kitchens: Transnational Aid Networks

Chair and respondent: Jaclyn Granick

  • Glenn Dynner – Transatlantic: The American Joint Distribution Committee in Interwar Poland
  • Piotr Długołęcki – Cooperation or competition? Aid activities of International Jewish Organizations and Polish Diplomatic and Consular Posts During the Second World War
  • Elena Hoffenberg – Finding One’s ORT: Mobility and Jewish Technical Education within and Beyond Interwar Poland

17:00 Conference closure



The conference takes place within the framework of the Global Education Outreach Program.

The conference is supported by Taube Philanthropies, the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland. 

The conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of the European Association for Jewish Studies. 

This project is supported by the German-Polish Science Foundation. 


Check our website for more information.