This conference celebrates the publication of the new volume of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, which is dedicated to Jewish religious life in Poland since 1750.
Following tremendous advances in recent years in the study of religious belief, this volume adopts a fresh understanding of Jewish religious life in Poland. Approaches deriving from the anthropology, history, phenomenology, psychology, and sociology of religion have replaced the methodologies of social or political history that were applied in the past, offering fascinating new perspectives.
The well-established interest in hasidism continues, albeit from new angles, and topics that have barely been considered before are well represented here. Women’s religious practice gains new prominence, and a focus on elites has given way to a consideration of the beliefs and practices of ordinary people. Reappraisals of religious responses to secularization and modernity, both liberal and Orthodox, offer more nuanced insights into this key issue.
Other research areas represented here include the material history of Jewish religious life in eastern Europe and the shift of emphasis from theology to praxis in the search for the defining quality of religious experience. The contemporary reassessments in this volume, with their awareness of emerging techniques that have the potential to extract fresh insights from source materials both old and new, show how our understanding of what it means to be Jewish is continuing to expand.
Speakers include: Prof François Guesnet; Prof Antony Polonsky; HE Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki; Marcin Wodziński, Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław; David Assaf (Tel Aviv), Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska (Kraków), Rachel Manekin (College Park, Maryland); Agnieszka Traczewska; Wojciech Tworek (Wrocław), Havi Dreifuss (Tel Aviv), [Tali Loewenthal (London)]
Schedule for the day
At this event we will honour the memory of Ada Rapoport-Albert who edited this volume with Marcin Wodziński.
10 am: Opening
HE Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki
Vivan Wineman (President, IPJS)
François Guesnet (Chair, IPJS)
10:15 am: Panel 1: Introduction to the volume and reminiscences of Ada Rapoport-Albert
Marcin Wodziński (University of Wrocław), Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University/POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw), François Guesnet (UCL).
10:45 am: Panel 2: Jewish Religious Life in the 18th and 19th c.
Moshe Rosman (Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv)
Leah Horowitz as a prism of Polish Jewish women's religious life
Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)
New perspectives on Progressive Synagogues in Galicia and the Kingdom of Poland
Rachel Manekin (College Park, Maryland)
Austrian Marriage Legislation and the Jews of Galicia: Rabbinic Perspectives
12:15 pm: Lunch break (screening Agnieszka Traczewska's photographs)
1 pm: Panel 3: Images of Religious Life
A conversation between Agnieszka Traczewska and Marcin Wodziński
1:45 pm: Panel 4: Reconfigurations in the 20th c.
Wojciech Tworek (University of Wrocław)
19 Kislev and the construction of interwar Chabad
Havi Dreifuss (Tel Aviv University): Jewish religious life in Poland during the Holocaust - Deafening Silence or A Blind Spot in Research?
Tali Loewenthal (UCL )
Orthodox Memoirs of the Holocaust, the Afterlife of Religion
3:15 pm: Conclusion: Mingling
3:30 pm: End of conference