Revisiting Polish Jewish Historians 1918-1939:
Past Perspectives, Contemporary Challenges

Professors Natalia Aleksiun and David Myers will examine the evolution of researching and writing about Polish Jewish history since the interwar period and the current issues that provoke scholarly debate.

The starting point of the conversation is Professor Natalia Aleksiun’s recent book, Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust. Committed to writing Jewish history from their communal and scholarly perspectives, Polish Jewish historians in the interwar period struggled to find their rightful place in academia and in the burgeoning democracy of the Second Polish Republic.

How have shifting communal agendas, political realities, and social contexts challenged contemporary Jewish historians?
Are the queries of the mid-20th century still relevant, and what is the impact of today’s research on public debate?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

PDT: 11:00 a.m.

EDT: 2:00 p.m.

UK: 7:00 p.m.

CET: 8:00 p.m.

Israel: 9:00 p.m.

Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at the Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College, New York. She published Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944–1950 and co-edited two volumes of Polin examining Holocaust memory and Jewish historiography. Her book Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust has just been published. Professor Aleksiun is a Gerda Henkel Fellow at Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena 2020–2022, and is completing a new book on the so-called “cadaver affair,” which involved Jewish medical students in the interwar period.

David N. Myers is the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Professor of Jewish History at UCLA, where he serves as the director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy. He is the author or editor of fifteen books in the field of Jewish history, among them The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life and the forthcoming American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York (Princeton) with Nomi Stolzenberg. Myers also serves as President of the New Israel Fund, an educator for the Wexner Heritage Foundation, and writes frequently on contemporary Jewish issues.

Field Guide to Jewish Warsaw

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