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30 November – 1 December, 2016

Lithuanian Jewry is heir to a rich linguistic heritage centered around a relationship between Hebrew and Yiddish. Traditionally Hebrew was the language not only of liturgy and sacred texts but also of a large and important body of legal and ethical writings. In the second half of the nineteenth century with the spread of the Jewish Enlightenment, new Hebrew literary genres such as original and translated prose ction and drama, as well as newspapers and other non ction, emerged and grew into a substantial corpus. Lithuanian Hebrew is also an important forerunner of a modern Israeli Hebrew.

Yiddish has likewise occupied a central position as the main spoken language of Lithuanian Jews, as well as the main basis for Standard Yiddish. It is also the vehicle of an extremely diverse and extensive literature including prose ction, poetry, scholarly and political writing, and thriving interwar press. Moreover, the Lithuanian variety of Yiddish exhibits many unique linguistic features, some of which re ect contact with the co-territorial Lithuanian language. Examination of this vibrant linguistic situation provides a fascinating insight into the Lithuanian Jewish cultural legacy.

The programme of the 6th Litvak Days in London event includes an evening of songs and music performed by Polina Shepherd on 30 November at Haldane Room, UCL, followed by a conference on “Jewish languages in the Lithuanian context” on 1 December at the Embassy of Lithuania (Programme details at the link below).

The event is organized by University College London Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Embassy of Lithuania. The Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies is proud to support this event.

Programme details at


Please note: this event takes place at 2 venues

Registration free and open to the public at:

Day 1 http://bit.ly/2ef6GsB

Day 2 http://bit.ly/2eMHDOa

UK Premiere
Wednesday 12th December 2016, 8:30pm

In cooperation with The Polish Cultural Institute and UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

Chaim Berman wascreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-23-22-13s a Jewish photographer born in 1890 in Kozienice, a small Polish town with a mix of Poles, Jews, and Germans. He was actively engaged in and committed to the town’s communal life, becoming a town councillor and the Mayor. When the political mood turned darg in the 1930s, Berman continued to argue for peaceful co-existence and mutual support, refusing to leave Poland because of his firm belief in a political situation. However, the Nazis invaded, and Berman found that friends turned into mortal enemies – and that those previously unfriendly tried to save his life. His Polish neighbours hid Berman and his son Amos in their tiny basement. But then Berman became ill, putting the whole family at risk, and a decision had to be made.

Using elaborate animation inspired by the works of Marc Chagall and by naive painting from the Kozienice region, and with Berman’s legacy of approximately 10,000 portraits on glass negatives, director Pawel Siczek takes us on a journey through the tides of a turbulent European century and tells the moving story of a man whose beliefs were more advanced than the world in which he lived.

In Polish with English subtitles

Further information and tickets (£12/10) at http://bit.ly/2dVoNVP

Phoenix Cinema
52 High Road, East Finchley London N2 9PJ

Thursday 19th January 2017, 9:30am–6pm

A One-Day Conference launching Volume 29, Studies in Polish Jewry (Littman Library of Jewish Civilization).

litpolin29cvr1-2fpIn cooperation with Polish Cultural Institute, London, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, and the UCL Institute for Jewish Studies.

Volume 29 of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry investigates Jewish historiography in three East European hubs: Congress Poland, the Russian Empire, and Galicia, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Looking beyond established paradigms, it adds to a growing literature seeking to transcend the trope of Jewish cultural insularity. It explores the tension inherent in the writing of Jewish history in Eastern Europe: between exploring the Jewish past in its communal setting, or inscribing Jews into the wider social, political, economic and cultural fabric of the region.

The event will feature two panels with presentations by the editors and authors of the volume, and a roundtable with Norman Davies, Edyta Gawron, Jan Kubik and Antony Polonsky. It will conclude with a slide show by Natalia Romik (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) about her trip with the Nomadic Shtetl Archive through small Polish towns in the summer of 2016.

Prior booking only through Eventbrite

Early registration is strongly advised

General Admission £15

Student concessions £10

Booking charges apply


Embassy of the Republic of Poland 47 Portland Place London W1B 1JH

Thursday 23rd March 2017, 7:30pm

Presentation and discussion with Magdalena Dziaczkowska (Brama Grodzka). In cooperation with the Polish Cultural Institute London and the UCL Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies.


Lublin’s Brama Grodzka (literally: Town’s Gate), also known as the Jewish Gate, is among the oldest gates of the Old Town in Lublin. When a group of young Polish actors moved into this rather derelict building and proceeded to renovate it, they had very little knowledge of the building’s history.

Thus, they did not know that the huge empty space they overlooked, a huge parking area, was once built up with the houses, synagogues and streets of the Jewish quarter, which the Germans had razed to the ground before they left Lublin, destroying the material legacy and memory of the Jews who had lived there.

Understanding the signi cance of this absence, the young actors – who had never encountered Jews – decided to convert their theatre workshop into a unique museum dedicated to the memory of their lost Jewish neighbours. Today, Brama Grodzka is home to a remarkable initiative bringing a shared past to life through education in schools, trips for visitors, commemorative events, and exhibitions. Its manifold activities re ect on the history of the Jews of Lublin as part of their own history.

Tickets (£7.50/5.00) available from 15 November 2016 at https://bramagrodzka.eventbrite.co.uk

341-351 Finchley Road London NW3 6ET

Photograph: Stanisław Pastusiak, collection Grzegorz Pastusiak, used with permission

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 

In collaboration with the UCL Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the UCL Institute for Advanced Studies


Over the past decades, a variety of disciplines have identi ed the human body as the site of complex, entangled discourses of belonging and not-belonging, health and illness, familiar and alien, in need of regulation or absolution. In this workshop, scholars will present their research on the human body as invested with meaning and as the object of practices, looking at the case of the Jewish body in Ashkenas, ie. roughly the German territories and Eastern Europe, with contributions from the history of medicine and of knowledge; literary studies; cultural and gender studies.

Speakers: Conny Aust (Mainz); François Guesnet (London); Magdaléna Jánošíková (London); Anna Novikov (Cologne); Iris Idelson-Shein (Frankfurt am Main); Marek Tuszewicki (Kraków).

Registration from 15 November 2016 at:


Registration is free and open to all.

University College London

Photograph: F.L. de la Fontaine, Chirurgisch-Medicinische Abhandlungen verschiedenen Inhalts Polen betreffend (Breslau, Leipzig 1792), Fig. III (detail).

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Film and discussion with director Edyta Wróblewska, Dr François Guesnet (Dept. of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL) and Dr Joanna B Michlic (UCL Institute for Advanced Studies).

This event is dedicated to Alina Margolis-Edelman (1922–2008), a young nurse in a Warsaw Ghetto hospital who fought in the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944. After the war, she obtained a medical degree and specialized in paediatrics, becoming renowned for her innovative trescreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-23-21-56atment methods. Forced to emigrate during the anti-semitic purge of 1968, she moved to France where she joined Medicins du Monde, working in the most disadvantaged areas of the world in addition to her regular medical practice. After the fall of communism, Margolis returned to Poland where she created the Nobody’s Children Foundation, devoted to helping abused, abandoned and poor children.

Edyta Wróblewska, a graduate of the Andrzej Wajda Film School, is the creator of the 20 min documentary Ala z elementarza (“Ala of the Reading Primer”), a testimony to Margolis’ dedication to humanitarian causes.

Tickets (£7.50/5.00) available from 15 November 2016 at: https://alinamargolisedelman.eventbrite.co.uk

341-351 Finchley Road London NW3 6ET