The tale of the Shtetl

8.01.2015, 6 pm

Wide zrzut ekranu 2017 08 31 o 12
Portret młodej kobiety  /  Gela Seksztajn

We invite you to the first Thursday in Tłomackie of the year, during which dr. Paweł Fijałkowski will talk about the phenomenon of the shtetl. The talk will be held among the exhibits of the JHI collection “Salvaged”.


Most Polish Jews lived in small or medium sized towns. Jewish quarters and structures meant for the religious life of Jews (synagogues, Beit Midrash, mikvah, cemeteries) were, up to the Second World War, an important element of the cultural landscape of Polish cities. Their localization, often dating back to the Old Polish or even medieval periods, reflected the legal status of the Jewish community and the relationship between them and the Christian community. From the moment they received equal rights in the 60’s of the 19th century Jews could freely choose where to live. However, many of them stayed where their ancestors lived and continued their traditional way of life. In many small towns Jews made up the majority of citizens. The shtelt, or Jewish town, became, at the end of the 19th century, an important element in Jewish literature and on object of interest to many painters. 


The talk will be illustrated by examples of works by Jewish artists from the collection of the Jewish Historical Institute.

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