Exhibit on Jewish Life in Poland to Make National Premiere at Daemen

By | August 30, 2019

Polish Jews 1979<br /> Mara Abramson with her father reading the Hagaddah at Passover Seder in Warsaw's kosher kitchen. 1979

Daemen College will host the U.S. premiere of “Regeneration: Jewish Life in Poland,” an extensive photography exhibit that documents the rebirth of Jewish life in Poland.

An opening reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 12 in the college’s Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Gallery in the Haberman Gacioch Arts Center. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will be on display through Oct. 11. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Featuring photos spanning from the 1970s to present day, “Regeneration: Jewish Life in Poland” provides one of the most comprehensive records of European Jews of the last 50 years and shows the enormous impact the 1989 rise of the Third Polish Republic had on the revival of the country’s Jewish community.

The extensive exhibit features images by award-winning photographer Chuck Fishman, who has had his work published, exhibited, and collected worldwide. His photos have appeared in Time, Fortune, and other national publications, and his work is included in the collections of the United Nations, POLIN: The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and many other renowned galleries.

Polish Jews 1975 Mosses Lekker, caretaker of the Jewish Cemetery in Lodz. 1975“We are proud to present to the Buffalo Niagara region such a historically significant exhibit by acclaimed photographer Chuck Fishman,” said Dr. Andrew Wise, Daemen’s director of the Center for Polish Studies. “This exhibit visually captures the resurgence of Poland’s rich Jewish culture that was nearly destroyed during World War II.”

On Sept. 13, a panel discussion about the exhibit will be held at 1 p.m. in Daemen’s Wick Campus Center Alumni Lounge. Panelists will include Jakub Nowakowski, executive director of the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, who coordinated the exhibit’s visit to the U.S.; Dr. Sean Martin, associate curator for Jewish history at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland; and award-winning Buffalo journalist Rich Kellman, who reported on developments in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s.  The event will include a screening of the documentary “A Town Called Brzostek,” which focuses on the restoration of the town’s Jewish cemetery.

Polish Jews Learning Hebrew in room next to the kosher kitchen at Ulica Twarda 6 in Warsaw.  The Nozyk Synagogue is seen thru windows.  Left - Right: Jakub Abramson (10), Zalmon Slowik (8), Gerard Frukowski (11), and unknown adult.  December 1978.“The Return,” a documentary on today’s young Jewish population in Poland, will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in the college’s Research and Information Commons Room 120.

“Regeneration: Jewish Life in Poland” is being supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland as part of the Public Diplomacy 2019 program. It is made possible by the Galicia Jewish Museum and is being co-sponsored by the Daemen Visual and Performing Arts and History and Political Science departments and the Center for Polish Studies, Canisius College’s permanent chair of Polish culture, Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, and the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo.