Jews and their Neighbours in Eastern Europe: A History of Endless Conflict?

Annual conference to launch the 24th volume of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry

 

Wednesday, 14 December, 8pm
Film screening & concert: New London Synagogue, 33 Abbey Road, NW8 0YA

Thursday, 15 December, 9.30am - 5pm
Conference: Hallam Conference Centre, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ 
Concert: Polish Embassy, 47 Portland Place, London W1B 1JH (available to conference participants only)

Relations between Jews and their neighbours in Eastern Europe have long been perceived as existing in a permanent state of conflict. Focusing on commonalities rather than differences enables contributors to this conference to counter that image and also to highlight moments and modes of reciprocal influence and exchange, making a valuable contribution to the discussion of inter-group relations as well as to Polish Jewish history.

The conference and associated events mark the launch of POLIN Vol. 24: Jews and Their Neighbours in Eastern Europe since 1750, edited by Israel Bartal, Antony Polonsky and Scott Ury, published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilisation.

The conference, organized by the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies and the Institute of Jewish Studies at UCL, has been sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Cultural Institute in London. Additional financial support from the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies and the Polish Book Institute in Kraków is gratefully acknowledged.

 

FULL PROGRAMME:


FILM SCREENING & CONCERT

Wednesday 14 December, 8 pm
New London Synagogue, 33 Abbey Road, NW8 0YA
Free but reservations essential
Spiro Ark: 020 7723 9991 / education@spiroark.org 

Alfred Schreyer from Drohobycz (Poland, 45 min, 2010) - a film by Marcin Giżycki and Małgorzata Sady documenting the reminiscenses of Alfred Schreyer, a musician born in 1922 and living in Drohobycz. Schreyer, a student of Bruno Schulz, writer, painter and graphic artist, still performs, playing the violin and singing pre-war Polish and Jewish songs. His extraordinary life story, told in a beautiful and moving way, is accompanied by archival material and told in the context of his home town. 

The film will be followed by the concert of Alfred Schreyer Trio (Alfred Schreyer - vocal and violin, Lev Lobanov - piano, Tadeusz Servatko - accordion). The musicians will play songs in Jiddish and traditional instrumental Jewish music, popular pre-war Polish tangos, film music, Lvov folklore, arias from operettas, popular Ukrainian and Russian songs. Alfred Schreyer will introduce respective pieces himself. 

The event is organised in cooperation with the Polish Cultural Institute in London and Spiro Ark. 


MAIN CONFERENCE

Thursday 15 December, 9.30 am - 5 pm 
Hallam Conference Centre, Oxford Suite (4th floor)
44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ 
Reservations essential. Registration fee £10, concessions £5
For all inquiries please write to Sara Benisaac of the Institute of Jewish Studies, email: ijs(at)ucl.ac.uk
Book online 

Welcome and Opening 
Chair: Mr Ben Helfgott, Chairman of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies 

9.30 am
Registration 

10 am 
Welcome: H.E. Ms Barbara Tuge-Erecińska, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
Opening Remarks: Sir Sigmund Sternberg, President of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies 
Presentation of a copy of volume 24 of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry to Professor Jerzy Tomaszewski to whom the volume is dedicated 

Session I
Jews and their Neighbours in Eastern Europe
Chair: Dr François Guesnet (University College London) 

10.15 am 
Between Jews and Their Neighbors: Isolation, Confrontation and Influence in Eastern Europe - Professor Israel Bartal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) 
New Paradigms for Understanding the History of the Jews in Eastern Europe - Dr. Scott Ury (Tel Aviv University) 
The Slow Return of Jewish Topics to Polish Historiography - Professor Jerzy Tomaszewski (University of Warsaw) 

11.50 am 
Coffee Break 

Session II 
Writing the History of the Jews in Poland and Russia 
Chair: Dr Eva Hoffman 

12.10 pm 
A round table discussion of Antony Polonsky's The Jews in Poland and Russia, 3 volumes (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2010, 2011) - Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University), Professor Israel Bartal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Dr François Guesnet (University College London), Professor Piotr Wróbel (University of Toronto) 

1.30 pm 
Buffet Lunch (by courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute, London) 

Session III 
Jews and their Neighbours in Eastern Europe: New Perspectives 
Chair: Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University) 

2.30 pm
Reform and Exclusion: Concepts for the Reform of the Jewish Community During the Declining Years of the Polish Enlightenment - Marcin Wodziński (University of Wrocław) 
Between Permeability and Isolation: Ezriel Natan Frenk as Historian of the Jews of Poland - Dr François Guesnet (University College London) 
Failed Integration. Jews and the Beginning of the Communist Movement in Poland - Professor Piotr Wróbel (University of Toronto) 

4.30 pm 
Tea/Coffee Break 


CONCERT
Thursday 15 December, 5.30 pm

Polish Embassy, 47 Portland Place, London W1B 6JH
(as part of the conference, only for the registered participants)

Alfred Schreyer Trio (Alfred Schreyer - vocal and violin, Lev Lobanov - piano, Tadeusz Servatko - accordion) play songs in Jiddish (mainly by M. Gebirtig) and traditional instrumental Jewish music, popular pre-war Polish tangos, film music, Lvov folklore, arias from operettas, popular Ukrainian and Russian songs.

Polish Cultural Institute
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