Limud Polska III

From Sunday evening — Now is the first moment since I’ve had access to the Internet  on my laptop…

Like the Limud (lit. “learning”) program in all locales where this branded weekend conference exists, Limud Polska was filled with a range of interesting classes. For each hour and a half block, about ten classes were offered, including one in English. Pamela Weissberger’s class in tracing Jewish genealogy in Galicia provided a fascinating walk through history, not to mention lots of tips for those interested in similar pursuits. Pamela – who is also a good friend I often see when I’m out in LA and with whom I felt happy to share this experience in Poland — has been involved for years in the organizational level of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies; for those interested, their annual conference will be held this July in Paris. We also really enjoyed the “Illuminated Manuscripts” workshop of Monika Krajewski. Even though the latter was in Polish, we could pick out choice words from her explanations; those, together with the beautiful artwork and Hebrew writing detailed in her power points kept cluing us in, though we certainly missed much of the import of her comments. Monika is a world expert on Jewish tombstone art and paper-cutting design. She wrote the seminal book on the subject in the early 1980s, during the heart of the communist era. Learning with her is a great treat. She also brought arts and crafts materials to the class so that we could have opportunities to try our hands at illuminated manuscripts. Curt’s was frameable – dragons exhaling thunderous fire amidst the Hebrew letters spelling “Khai” (life). As for mine: Put it this way, I was the only student in the class to whom Monika kept returning to make design suggestions different than the direction in which I was going.

I always say people should know their strengths and weaknesses and be upfront about them. I will stick to writing and producing.

On that subject, we were thrilled that two of our JEMGLO documentaries, Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean and Safeguarding Memory: Commemorating Jewish Mass Graves in Poland, were screened. A good number of folks came to the screenings, and Zbigniew Nizinski, one of the key protagonists of Safeguarding Memory, showed up as well, which gave rise to an interesting Q and A followed by hours of discussion on topics different than those that we generally have with American audiences.

After lunch, the highest attending event on the annual Polish Jewish calendar came to its conclusion.  We left inspired, new ideas percolating…

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