08 February 2012

Area Events: FREE "Jews in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Polish Republics" - February 16, 2012

This message is being shared for our friends at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. For more information, please contact Pamela Weisberger, Program Chair, JGSLA, pweisberger@gmail.com

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles invites you to join us for "The Jews in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Polish Republics: Discontinuity and Reinvention” with speaker: Konstanty Gebert

Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Skirball Cultural Center ~ Magnin Auditorium
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

For much of contemporary history, Poland, home to the world's, and then Europe's, largest Jewish population, did not exist as an independent country. The two periods of foreign occupation separate what is known as the three Polish republics. In each republic the Jews perceived themselves, and were treated, very differently: as an indigenous social caste, as an alien ethno-religious minority, and as equal citizens. The republics, too, were fundamentally different countries, in terms of political system, demography and borders. Furthermore, developments in the periods of foreign occupation (the onset of modernity, the Shoah) were crucial for Polish Jewry. In this sense one can say that, as Poland periodically had to reinvent itself, so did Polish Jews: with fundamental consequences for Jewish identity and fate.

Konstanty Gebert is board member of the Taube Centre for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland and an international reporter and columnist at “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland’s biggest daily. He was a democratic opposition activist in the Seventies, when he was also an organizer of the Jewish Flying University, and an underground journalist in the Eighties under martial law. He is the founder of the Polish Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz, and board member of Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. He has taught in Poland, Israel and the US and has written books on the Polish democratic transformation and on French policy toward Poland, the Yugoslav wars and the wars of Israel, Torah commentary and post-war Polish Jewry.

Mr. Gebert will be introduced by the Honorable Joanna KoziƄska-Frybes, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles.

Co-sponsored by UCLA’s Center for Jewish Studies & the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles. Free to all. Traveling Library opens at 7:00 PM.

For more program details and directions go to http://jgsla.org/meetings/upcoming/february-16-2012-jews-in-the-1st-2nd-and-3rd-polish-republics-discontinuity-and-reinvention

Pamela Weisberger
Program Chair, JGSLA

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