Jewish Heritage Europe

A Jewish Europe? Virtual and Real-Life Spaces in the 21st Century

May 3, 2022 – May 5, 2022 all-day
Gothenburg University
405 30 Gothenburg
A Jewish Europe? Virtual and Real-Life Spaces in the 21st Century @ Gothenburg University | Gothenburg | Västra Götaland County | Sweden

The conference aims to explore the development, role, influence and shape of virtual spaces in different forms related to contemporary European Jewry. How are digital practices related to real-life practices and spaces performed and inhabited by Europe’s Jewry? What do virtual spaces reveal about Jewish engagement with the geographical location and the idea of Europe? And, ultimately, what do virtual spaces tell us about the existence and future of a “Jewish Europe”? What do they say about transcending the borders of “Jewish Europe” and fostering membership in a global Jewish presence? 

Announced keynote speakers are JHE’s Ruth Ellen Gruber and independent scholar Diana Pinto.

The conference is organised by the University of Gothenburg and the Parkes Institute of Southampton University.


Tuesday 3 May

09.00 – Welcome and introductions, Joachim Schlör, Maja Hultman and Klas Grinell

09.30 – Keynote: Ruth Ellen Gruber (Jewish Heritage Europe) Life after Life: Shifting Virtualities (and Realities) 20 Years after Virtually Jewish

10.45 – Break and coffee

11.15 – Panel 1: Jewish contribution to Europe – Chair: TBC

  • Itai Apter (University of Haifa) – Jewish Legal-Political WWII Era Scholars in the European International Law Space of the Past and Contemporary Virtual Spaces
  • Marcela Menachem Zoufalá (Charles University Prague) – TBC
  • Vladimir Levin (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – European Values, Post-Soviet States, and Jewish Heritage

12.45 – Lunch

14.00 – Panel 2: Jewish/non-Jewish Spaces in Europe (J444) – Chair: TBC

  • Susanne Korbel (University of Graz) – Jewish Spaces in Vienna Today: A Relational, Hybrid Approach
  • Magdalena Abraham-Diefenbach (European University Viadrina) – The Legacy of German Jews in Western Poland: Jewish Cemeteries as Places Between “Jewish Space” and “Virtual Jewishness”
  • Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (Vilnius University) – The Process of Learning About the Jews and Their Heritage: Influence of Challenges in Post-Soviet      Lithuania to the Contemporary Understanding of the Jewish Culture

15.30 – Break and coffee

16.00 – Panel 3: Jewish Europe from Near and Afar (J444) – Chair: TBC

  • Jennifer Cowe (University of British Columbia) – Rootless Nostalgia, Yekke Identity and Intergenerational memory Curation/Creation in Mor Kaplansky’s Café Nagler
  • Libby Langsner (independent researcher) – Nostalgia Networks: The Potential of Built Heritage Digitization in European American Jewish Identity Formation and Social Belonging
  • Judith Vöcker (University of Leicester) – The Muranów District as a Memorial of the Former Jewish Community of Warsaw

18.00 – City walk of Jewish Gothenburg

19.00 – Tour and dinner @ Gothenburg’s Synagogue

Wednesday 4 May

09.00 – Panel 4: Virtual Heritage Spaces of Jewish Europe – Chair: TBC

  • Susanne Urban (University Marburg) – Storytelling in Jewish Spaces: Creating a Bond Between Spaces, History and Present
  • Kyra Schulman (University of Chicago) – Memory Space: Probing the Limits of Holocaust Memorialization Projects on Digital Versus Physical Topographies
  • Kinga Frojimovics and Éva Kovács (Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies) – Tracing the Holocaust in the Kaiserstadt

10.30 – Break and coffee

11.00 – Panel 5: Digital Practices in Today’s Europe – Chair: Klas Grinell

  • Tyson Herberger (University of Southeastern Norway) – Impacts of Norwegian Jewry’s Digital Turn Under Corona
  • Dekel Peretz (Heidelberg University) – Searching for Belonging: Jewish-Muslim Dialogue in Virtual Spaces
  • Alla Marchenko (The Polish Academy of Sciences) – Virtual Representation of Real Jews and Jewishness in Contemporary Poland

12.30 – Lunch

13.45 – Heritage Session: Jewish Spaces in Sweden – Chair: Maja Hultman

  • Yael Fried (Jewish Museum in Stockholm)
  • Anna Grinzweig Jacobsson and Karin Brygger (Judiska salongen)
  • Lukasz Gorniok (Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden and Ivana Koutniková (Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden/Paideia folkhögskola)
  • Tom Shulevitz (Jewish Congregation of Gothenburg)

15.15 – Break and coffee

15.45 – Bus trip Gothenburg-Marstrand

17.00 – Guided tour of Marstrand

19.00 – Dinner @ Grand Tenan

21.30 – Bus trip Marstrand-Gothenburg

Thursday 5 May

09.00 – Panel 6: Being Jewish in Today’s Europe – Chair: TBC

  • Katalin Tóth (Institute of Ethnology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Eötvös Loránd Research Network) – “But We Are Also Here – the Descendants of the Survivors”: Everyday Life of a Synagogue in Budapest for the Past Thirty Years
  • Stanislaw Krajewski (University of Warsaw) – The Concept of De-Assimilation as a Tool to Describe Present-Day European Jews: The Example of Poland
  • Phil Alexander (University of Edinburgh) – “The Most Saving Slum in Glasgow, and the Most Abandoned”: Scotland’s 20th Century Jewish Neighbourhoods as 21st Century Virtual Spaces

10.30 – Break and coffee

11.00 – Virtual Keynote: Diana Pinto (independent researcher) Jewish Spaces in a Topsy Turvy Europe                                      

12.15 – Closing remarks by Joachim Schlör and Maja Hultman