A one-day international online conference called “Jewish Crossroads: Between Italy and Eastern Europe” organized by the Foundation for Jewish Cultural Heritage in Italy and the Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The close contacts between Italy and eastern Europe have evolved over the centuries and Jews have been an integral part of this relationship.
The most known examples of Italian influences on eastern European Jews are the construction of synagogues in Poland and Lithuania by Italian architects; Jewish medics from Italy practicing in noble east European courts; or the selling of Hebrew books printed in Italy.
The interaction obviously was in the opposite direction: many Polish and Lithuanian rabbis moved to Italy or transferred their texts to be published there; the Council of the Four Lands sent emissaries to Rome; and many eastern European Jewish artists spent years in Italy.
The conference is planned to concentrate on those contacts and interactions, during the Early Modern and Modern periods.
The conference will be conducted in English. The keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Ilia Rodov of Bar-Ilan University.
I-Tal-Ya is a collaborative effort to identify and catalogue every Hebrew book in Italy. It is being carried out by the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy (UCEI), the Rome National Central Library (BNCR), and the National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem, with the support of the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe.
The project includes cataloguing an estimated 35,000 volumes from 14 Jewish communities and 25 state institutions and will take approximately three years to complete.
The event is held within the program of Ferrara’s annual Jewish Book Festival.
An interdisciplinary online conference (on the Gridaly platform) that will bring together scholars in a wide range of fields: anthropology, sociology, history, memory studies, museology, art history, and political science, among others; organized by the POLIN museum in Warsaw.
It will explore new directions in the study of East and Central European Jews.
Several specific questions will be raised: What constitutes Jewish studies today and in which direction should we be heading? Which paradigms are guiding the field today? How are theoretical and methodological developments in the humanities and social sciences shaping Jewish studies? How are scholars working in a broad range of disciplines – history, social sciences, literature, visual and performing arts, and other disciplines – contributing to the field? What are interdisciplinary approaches contributing to the field? What is the impact of studies of Jewish life in the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on a wider understanding of world history?
- François Guesnet, “The Narcissism of Small Differences? Reflections on Jewish Studies and Jewish Area Studies”
- Havi Dreifuss, “Beyond traditional methods: Five Thoughts of what is New and What is Next in Jewish Studies”
- Marcin Wodziński, “What’s Next in Jewish Studies: Prospects and Challenges”
- Gerben Zaagsma, “Exploring Jewish History in the Digital Age”
- Paradigms, methodologies, and sources
- Issues, emphases, and gaps
- Digital resources and methods
- Ethics and politics
- Academic and cultural institutions
1 Poster session
- PhD candidates will present methodological, theoretical, and source issues related to their dissertations.
- “Creating a Legacy: The Impact of Jewish Studies in Poland”
- “The Future of Museum Architecture”
The full-scale replica of the wooden synagogue of Połaniec one of the hundreds of East European wooden synagogues destroyed during WW2, will be formally opened — it has been installed at Poland’s largest open-air ethnographic museum, or skansen, the Folk Architecture Museum in Sanok, in the far southeast corner of Poland.
The two-day opening event includes the inauguration on-site on October 7, plus an excursion to the masonry synagogue and historic Jewish cemetery in nearby Lesko.
The day-long conference takes place October 8, at another location in Sanok, the Jan Grodek State Vocational Academy — ul. Mickiewicza 21.
An international conference to officially launch the massive website and digital database of Jewish cemeteries in Turkey, A World Beyond: Jewish Cemeteries in Turkey 1583-1990.
The database and web site are a project of the The Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center of Tel Aviv University. We wrote about it when it first went online last year as a beta version — though the site still says it’s in beta, the kinks that some users experienced appear to have been worked out, and we find it easy to search and use.
Dedicated to the memory of the oriental studies scholar Bernard Lewis, who died in 2018, the database is the culmination of decades of research by Prof. Minna Rozen (and others) and comprises digital images and detailed textual content of more than 61,000 Jewish gravestones from a variety of communities in Turkey from 1583 until 1990. Rozen’s onsite documentation of the cemeteries was carried out in 1988-1990. The material was digitized in the 1990s but until the web site was uploaded, it had not been publicly accessible.
JHE’s Ruth Ellen Gruber will be one of the speakers at this day-long international conference held to mark the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the ruins of the synagogue in the ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica — a discovery made during construction of a highway to Rome’s Fiumicino airport — and the 20th anniversary of the Art in Memory Cultural Association, which every two years organizes a biennale of contemporary art in the synagogue ruins.
Some conference talks will be in English; most will be in Italian. A Green Pass (proof of COVID vaccination) is required to attend the conference.
Info in italiano (dal sito del Goethe Institut):
Nel 1961, nel corso dei lavori per la costruzione dell’autostrada di Fiumicino, sono stati rinvenuti i resti della antichissima Sinagoga di Ostia antica, parte dell’insediamento archeologico romano, la cui datazione è ancora controversa ma che costituisce certamente, con l’eccezione di quella di Delo, la più antica sinagoga dell’occidente mediterraneo e forse della Diaspora. L’intervento tempestivo dell’allora Soprintendente Anton Luigi Pietrogrande e di Maria Floriani Squarciapino ha determinato la deviazione della strada per Fiumicino, dunque la salvaguardia della Sinagoga, che è stata prontamente restaurata. La stessa Soprintendenza ha avuto il merito di dare immediatamente alla scoperta un rilievo internazionale.
Dalla fine degli anni Novanta, in concomitanza con una violenta ondata di antisemitismo che ha accompagnato la caduta del Muro di Berlino, alcune tra le poche Sinagoghe europee sopravvissute hanno riaperto i battenti come centri per l’arte contemporanea. La prima è stata quella Stommeln in provincia di Colonia. Su quel modello, dal 2002 la Sinagoga di Ostia antica ospita la biennale di arte contemporanea “Arte in Memoria”, curata da Adachiara Zevi, organizzata dall’Associazione Arte in Memoria, che ogni due anni invita artisti da tutto il mondo a creare un lavoro originale per il luogo.
La direzione del Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica e l’Associazione “Arte in Memoria”, intendono ricordare i 60 anni dal ritrovamento della Sinagoga con un convegno internazionale, al quale parteciperà anche l’artista tedesco Mischa Kuball, da tenersi all’interno del Parco Archeologico.
A conference looking at the handling of Jewish cemeteries on both sides of the border between Germany and Poland — both in communist East Germany and Poland after WW2 and since 1989 in post-reunification Germany and post-communist Poland. Register by November 2.
Welcome: Dr. Peter Bahl, State Historical Association for the Mark Brandenburg eV, and Dr. Magdalena Gebala, German Cultural Forum for Eastern Europe eV
Introductory presentation On the situation of the Jewish cemeteries in the Soviet Zone and the GDR, Dr. Monika Schmidt, Berlin
Presentation of the project Jewish cemeteries in Poland in the areas of the former province of Brandenburg, Dr. Magdalena Abraham-Diefenbach and Dr. des. Anke Geißler-Grünberg, both Frankfurt (Oder)
Documentary film Jewish cemeteries in Poland , director: Dietmar Barsig, 2009, 4:05 min., Broadcast in Kulturzeit on November 18, 2009; with the kind permission of ZDF
Followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Magdalena Abraham-Diefenbach, Dr. des. Anke Geißler-Grünberg, Dr. Monika Schmidt and Andrzej Kirmiel, director of the Museum of the Meseritzer Land, Międzyrzecz / Meseritz
Moderation: Dr. Peter Bahl
The event will be held in German and Polish and will be interpreted.
Limited places. To participate in the event, a confirmed registration up to and including Tuesday, November 2, 2021 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or on the telephone number (030) 413 82 19 (with AB) is necessary. Proof of COVID vaccination is required to enter. A minimum distance of 1.5 m must be maintained. Wearing an OP or FFP2 mask is mandatory for all participants.
A cooperative event between the Chair for Monument Studies at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), the Chair for Modern History (German-Jewish History) at the University of Potsdam , the State Historical Association for the Mark Brandenburg eV and the German Cultural Forum Eastern Europe eV
The picture shows: Broken tombstone in the Jewish cemetery in Drossen / Ośno Lubuskie, 2021, © Peggy Lohse
Sharing the catacombs. Religious interactions in funeral spaces of Rome, 3rd-4th centuries CE
A round-table of interational scholars, in Italian and English, about Jewish and Christian catacombs in Rome.
To register for Zoom attendance, go to https://www.istitutosvizzero.it/it/tavola-rotonda/19933/
H17:00-17:15 – Caroline Bridel, Introduzione
H17:15-17:45 – Giandomenico Spinola (Musei Vaticani), La necropoli vaticana della via Triumphalis: tra religione e superstizione
H17:45-18:15 – Giancarlo Lacerenza (Università di Napoli L’Orientale), Ebraico e aramaico negli epitaffi delle catacombe ebraiche di Roma: segni di plurilinguismo o marcatori identitari?
H18:15-18:30 – Pausa
H18:30-19:00 – Norbert Zimmermann (Deutsche Archäologisches Institut), Space, tombs, images: Experiencing Christian Catacombs of Rome
H19:00-19:30 – Discussione moderata da Caroline Bridel
and, instead of considering them as isolated phenomena as it has been generally done until now, proposes to
analyze the exchanges, contaminations, adoption of ancient prototypes and the painful and sacrilegious processes of
adaptation to the new cult. Particular attention is paid to the methods of restoration, or renovation of religious
buildings no longer in use or looted, a widespread practice that generally coincides with low-cost interventions
consisting of removing and replacing the images, as well as changing the ornaments and possibly the furniture. In
order to investigate this aspect it is necessary to highlight its trauma and subsequently to remember the desecration
of religious buildings carried out over the centuries to adapt them to the religious needs of the dominant power, and
therefore the distortion of some of their peculiar characteristics, and what was destroyed and what was maintained.
Jewish Museum of Rome
(Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome), Ruth Dureghello
(President of the Jewish Community of Rome)
Museum of Rome): Introduction
“memoria” al “trauma”: il potere politico e la profanazione degli edifici
religiosi (From “memory” to “trauma”: the political power and the
desecration of religious buildings)
Basilicas and Ancient Synagogues: Interreligious Dynamics in Architecture
The orientation of Galilean synagogues, fourth to sixth centuries
Tempio Maggiore di Roma e le sue tipologie architettoniche di riferimento
(The Great Synagogue of Rome and its architectural typologies of
Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea
of the Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e Contemoporanea, Rome)
Italia): La sinagoga in Italia dal medioevo all’emancipazione: una lunga
storia di continuità tipologica, cambi di destinazione d’uso e strategie di
rinnovamento stilistico-architettonico (The synagogue in Italy from the
Middle Ages to emancipation: a long history of typological continuity,
changes of intended use and strategies of stylistic-architectural renewal)
UOB, Université de Balamand):Tripoli-Liban-Nord, Patrimoine religieux
complexe (Tripoli -Lebanon-North, complexreligious heritage)
Marano (Ca’ Foscari University, Venice): Lo stato giuridico delle
sinagoghe sotto Bisanzio e delle chiese sotto l’Islam: Prospettive
comparate durante la lunga Tarda Antichità (The legal status of
synagogues under Byzantium and churches under Islam: compared
perspectives during the long Late Antiquity)
between Christians and Muslimsin 13th century Armenia: evidence from
ornament and inscriptions
formales en la arquitectura de lassinagogas,catedralesy mezquitas en la
España bajomedieval (Formal contamination in the architecture of
synagogues, cathedrals and mosques in late medieval Spain)
Riflessioni su arte e devozioni interreligiose nel Mediterraneo medievale
(Mary of the Miḥrāb: reflections on interreligious art and devotions in
the medieval Mediterranean Sea)
in Spagna nell ́età moderna (Cathedrals and relics in Spain in the
sinagoghe e una moschea:spazicultuali non cristiani nella Venezia di Età
Moderna (Five synagogues and a mosque: non-Christian cultual spaces
in the Modern Age Venice)
d’Agincourt et la naissance de l’architecture gothique: un nouveau regard
vers l’architecture religieuse islamique au siècle des Lumières
(Jean-Baptiste Séroux d’Agincourt and the emergence of gothic
architecture: a new perspective on religious Islamic architecture during
Synagogues of the Jewish “Reform movements” from the late 18th
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
Watch the conference on YouTube:
Opening ceremony: https://youtu.be/J3Hx6eh6cng
Day 2: https://youtu.be/D29zQRijkqM
Day 3: https://youtu.be/Xyonp03JUfk
Closing discussion: https://youtu.be/Gk0pqyRJIo0
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
WEDNESDAY, May 25th
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.
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