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Poland and the Jews


Aish.com: Crash Course in Jewish History
This chapter from a larger online history course developed by Rabbi Ken Spiro looks at the history of the Jews of Poland, starting in 1264 when King Boleslav granted a charter inviting the Jews to Poland. Also visit the Holocaust Studies section on Aish.com for further resources on the War period.

MyJewishLearning.com: Polish Medieval History
This article on the origins and development of Polish Jewry is reprinted from Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia.

Historical Sites of Jewish Warsaw
This guided tour on the website of the City of Warsaw features a timeline of the Jewish presence in Warsaw and comprehensive illustrated descriptions of 54 locations linked with the history of Warsaw's Jews.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: Invasion of Poland
This entry from the Holocaust Encyclopedia details the 1939 invasion. Also on the site of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, see "Polish Victims" and "Poles: Victims of the Nazi Era" for background on the German campaign against the sovereignty of the majority Roman-Catholic country.

Wikipedia: History of the Jews in Poland
This very comprehensive entry gives a detailed history of Jews in Poland from 966 AD through the present. (Note: Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia — bear in mind that it is written collaboratively by people from around the world.)

Dzialoszyce Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project
Dzialoszyce was the Polish shtetl that Mechem Daum's in-laws were from. He, along with others, is initiating a restoration project of the town's abandoned Jewish cemetery.

 

Hasidism


A Life Apart: Hasidism in America
The PBS.org companion website to Oren Rudavsky and Menachem Daum's first film offers an introductory article on Hasidism as well as extensive related essays and other resources for educators.

University of Virginia: Religious Movements Homepage
The University of Virginia maintains this extensive web resource on over 200 religious movements. Their profile of Hasidism provides a good history of the movement and its different branches.

Hasidism.info: FAQ on Hasidism
This site, maintained by Rabbi Yonassan Gershom, is intended for non-Hasidic readers looking for an accessible explanation of the Hasidic way of life. The site provides very clear answers and also offers book recommendations for further learning.

Varieties of Orthodox Judaism: Hasidism
Eliezer Segal, a Religious Studies professor from the University of Calgary, developed this profile of the Hasidic movement. To help place Hasidism in the larger context, also check out his map of Orthodox Jewish movements, which links to further writing on the topic.

Wikipedia: Hasidic Judaism
Gives a thorough definition providing details on history, religious practice, and culture, and also offering great external links. (Note: Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia — bear in mind that it is written collaboratively by people from around the world.)

 

Stories of the Hidden


Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust
This companion site to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's exhibition contains interactive features that explore the plight of Jewish children forced to hide or face death during the Holocaust. Don't miss the excellent study guide (PDF).

Hidden Children: Quest for Family
This entry from the Holocaust Encyclopedia describes the relocation process and custody battles that ensued after the war ended. Links to other related entries are at the bottom of the page.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
This non-profit group provides monthly financial support to more than 1,500 aged and needy non-Jews who rescued Jews during the Holocaust and educates future generations about their extraordinary acts of courage. The Mucha family featured in the film receives support from this foundation.

Yad Vashem: Righteous Among Nations
Since 1963, a commission, headed by an Israeli Supreme Court justice has been charged with the duty of awarding the title "Righteous among the Nations" to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Anti-Defamation League: The Hidden Child Foundation
In 1991, the ADL organized the First International Gathering of Children Hidden During World War II, at which 1,600 former hidden children from 28 countries met for the first time. The ADL's site includes accounts of child Holocaust survivors and profiles of survivors seeking information on their backgrounds.

A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust: Survivors
This University of South Florida Center for Instructional Technology website features survivor testimonies about a life in hiding. Some links are now broken, but you can still read testimonies in text or watch video clips of first-hand experiences recounted. Also visit the "Rescuers" page for testimonies of those who gave Jews safe harbor during the Holocaust.

 

Working for Tolerance


Tolerance.org
A web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, this essential resource includes daily news about groups and individuals working for tolerance and fighting hate, guidebooks for adult and youth activists, practical resources for parents and teachers and entertaining and educational games for young children.

Museum of Tolerance
A project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (see below), this experiential museum focuses on two central themes through unique interactive exhibits: the dynamics of racism and prejudice in America and the history of the Holocaust.

Simon Wiesenthal Center
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust through educational outreach and social action.

The Compassionate Listening Project
A US-based non-profit organization that grew out of conflict resolution and reconciliation work on the ground in Israel and Palestine.

The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project takes an innovative approach to documenting the response to historical tragedies of the 20th century. Explore their visual arts library, virtual exhibitions and ongoing discussions of remembrance issues in cultures around the world.

Jewish-Christian Relations
This website is a project of the International Council of Christians and Jews, an umbrella organization of 38 national dialogue organizations worldwide. Explore the many articles, reviews, reports, official statements, and study resources on Jewish-Christian relations available on their site, as well as links to many related organizations.

 

Fundamentalism Today


Speaking of Faith: The Power of Fundamentalism
Religious fundamentalism has reshaped our view of world events. In this radio program, host Krista Tippett explores the appeal of fundamentalism in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, as experienced from the inside. Guests include Yossi Klein Halevi, Khaled Abou El Fadl and Richard J. Mouw. (2002)

BeliefNet.com: Fractured Fundamentalism
Extremism exists in every faith. Find out more about how Christian, Jewish and Islamic fundamentalism differ and why fundamentalism sometimes causes violence.

Foreign Affairs: The Great Revival: Understanding Religious "Fundamentalism"
Reporter David Aikman summarizes the book Strong Religion: The Rise of Fundamentalisms Around the World by Gabriel A. Almond, R. Scott Appleby, and Emmanuel Sivan. According to Aikman, the book "tries to find similarities in religious fundamentalism across the world. But the book's real lesson is that profound religious belief is here to stay." (July/August 2003)

Wikipedia: Fundamentalism
This article attempts to explain what fundamentalism is and what it means to be a fundamentalist in each different religious context. (Note: Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia — bear in mind that it is written collaboratively by people from around the world.)

 

Also on PBS and NPR


PBS.org Websites

A Life Apart
Oren Rudavsky and Menachem Daum's first film together, about the history and culture of Hasidism in America. (1998)

Frontline: Shtetl
The homecoming story of two elderly Polish-American Jews who return to their families' shtetl, where 2,500 Jews lived before most were sent to Treblinka. These two Americans are aided by a Polish Gentile who has restored Bransk's Jewish cemetery and researched the lives of the Jews who once lived there. (1996)

Frontline: Faith & Doubt at Ground Zero
This show appeared with "Our Religions, Our Neighbors, Ourselves," a feature on the challenge of interfaith dialogue and mutual understanding post-9/11, and "The Question of Religion," a feature on religion as a source of grace and consolation and also of violence and divisiveness. (2002)

NOW: Society and Community: 21st Century Faith
Many of the stories NOW has covered have dealt with faith in the modern world. This site offers links to various NOW programs on the subject such as "Whose God?," "Faith in America" and "Voices of Islam." (2005)

Heritage: Civilization and the Jews
This is the companion site to the nine-part PBS series, "Heritage."

NPR Stories

Speaking of Faith: The Power of Fundamentalism
Religious fundamentalism has reshaped our view of world events. In this program, host Krista Tippett explores the appeal of fundamentalism in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, as experienced from the inside. (2002)

Tavis Smiley — Roundtable: The Future of Faith in America
NPR's Tavis Smiley hosts a spirited debate on faith, religion and morality and the present and future of faith communities in the United States. (2004)

All Things Considered: Humanistic Judaism
The issue of pluralism, the acceptance of differences in belief among Jews, has become more complex with the participation of a group that views Judaism as a cultural institution with no God. This report from the 1999 General Assembly, an annual Jewish conference, explores the issue of Jewish Humanism. (1999)

Day to Day: Praying to the Same God?
The Washington Post recently posted an interesting query — the religion editors asked readers: "Do you think that Muslims, Christians and Jews all pray to the same God?" In this audio clips, NPR anchors read excerpts from some of the responses. (2003)

Centropa: The Story of Europe's Jewish Heritage
A group of researchers from many nations is compiling the largest regional online archive of Eastern European Jewish life, past and present. (2003)





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