Seminar “The Many Faces of Memories”, January 29, 2015 from 7 pm to 9 pm Pacific Time (also streaming as a webinar)
RSVP by email to: RabbiBeliak@JewishRenewalinPoland.org
I am leading an “insiders tour” to Poland this summer, July 2 to 14, 2015. I hope you will consider joining our trip. Traveling to Poland — the ancestral home of over 80% — of Jewish families in North America is complex.
In order to respond to that need I am inviting people to join in a series of seminars beginning on January 29, 2015 from 7 to 9 pm and to read an essay by noted historian Dr. Joanna Beata Michlic. Her essay will focus our first conversation: “The Many Faces of Memories: How Do Jews and the Holocaust Matter in Postcommunist Poland?” Many people approach a trip to Poland with numerous questions such as the ones we will be discussing at each meeting. (Your are invited to propose some additional topics.) In the six or seven meetings — once a month leading up to the trip — we will read some materials, see and discuss films, and get to know some thing about the places and people we will visit.
I hope you will join me for the discussions and that you will decide to join our trip. I believe that a trip to Poland is a gate way connecting us to the historical achievements of Polish Jewry and the surprising development of the contemporary Jewish community in Poland. Our trip will focus on telling of the story of the 1000 year history of Jews in Poland before the Hurbin (Holocaust). Each of the seminars/film discussions will focus on an aspect of Polish Jewish history and the contemporary reality. A highlight of the trip will be a visit to Warsaw’s new museum Polin: A Museum of the History of Polish Jewry. I was there in October 2014 and found the museum quite remarkable. We will also visit Beit Warszawa (founded 1995), the Progressive flagship congregation of Beit Polska. Polish Progressive Judaism has roots in Warsaw dating back to 1803.
The attached flier details our itinerary which will be led by me along with professional guides and arranged by by Ayelet Tours. On January 29, 2015 I’ll try to try to answer your trip related questions. As we get closer to the trip our meetings will be a sounding board for other questions that may arise.
A word about the essay that I am inviting you to request and read for our conversation on January 29, 2015. The essay examines the reactions to the surprising phenomena of the renewal of Jewish life in Poland after 1989 when Soviet domination ended. The phenomena of the emergence of Jewish life in Poland evokes different responses. Poland’s Jewish revival is not too well understood and it is often the occasion for surprise, suspicion, and reflective musings for both Jews and Poles. Gaining insight and context for all that we know or think we know about Poland is one of the hoped for outcomes of this trip.
If you want to attend, RSVP to RabbiBeliak@JewishRenewalinPoland.org. The Many Faces of Memories essay will be sent to you as an attachment along with directions to the seminar. About a half hour will be spent consulting on details of the trip and answering questions. Light refreshments will be served. There is no obligation to sign up for the trip in order to attend the seminar. Space is limited for the seminar and trip.
This is the second trip that I will lead to Poland and my fourteenth visit to Poland. My first visit was in 1985 with my mother. We visited her home town, Olkusz and I met the Catholic family who aided my mother. I never thought I would return to Poland but now, my work as executive director of Jewish Renewal in Poland (Beit Polska) has given my a ring-side seat in this remarkable phenomena of re-building Jewish life.
There will be pre- and post- trip excursions that you will want to know about, too. Be sure to share this Email with friends and relatives. I look forward to hearing from you.
Join the “Insiders” Tour to Poland, July 2 to 14, 2015