SRAS: Poland - Jewish Heritage Summer

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  • Location(s): Poland
  • Program Type(s): Study Abroad
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Jews have been present in Poland for the past 1000 years. From medieval times, escaping persecution in many West European countries and attracted by privileges offered to them by Polish princes and kings, many Jews settled in Poland. By the XVII c... read more

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Jews have been present in Poland for the past 1000 years. From medieval times, escaping persecution in many West European countries and attracted by privileges offered to them by Polish princes and kings, many Jews settled in Poland. By the XVII century they constituted 10 percent of the total population of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. By the XVIII century the majority of the world’s Jewish population lived in Poland. Statistically speaking, today, almost 70 percent of world Jews should be able to trace their roots to Polish lands.

The Jews in Poland created a rich, diverse and unique culture, traces of which can still be found across Poland, in spite of the Nazi-inflected tragedies of WWII. Poland, being one of the earliest countries invaded by the Nazis, and being home to millions of Jews, was especially hard hit by the Nazi "final solution."

This one-month course will examine the triumphs and tragedies of Poland’s Jews and acquaint you with the burgeoning revival of Jewish culture now taking place in democratic Poland. The course will be co-directed by Dr. Maciej Kozlowski, the former Polish ambassador to Israel and Dr. Jolanta Zyndul, Senior Historian at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Both of these individuals have authored numerous publications dealing with Polish-Jewish relations including the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Summer
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