Between the Lines: Polish Jewish Culture Beyond the Capital

By :  Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary Posted On Feb 5, 2024 / 5784 | Author Conversations: Between the Lines Library Programs

Part of Between the Lines: Author Conversations from The Library of JTS

Polish Jewish Culture Beyond the Capital: Centering the Periphery is a path-breaking exploration of the diversity and vitality of urban Jewish identity and culture in Polish lands from the second half of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of the Second World War (1899–1939). In this multidisciplinary essay collection, a cohort of international scholars provides an integrated history of the arts and humanities in Poland by illuminating the complex roles Jews in urban centers other than Warsaw played in the creation of Polish and Polish Jewish culture.
Each essay presents readers with the extraordinary production and consumption of culture by Polish Jews in literature, film, cabaret, theater, the visual arts, architecture, and music. They show how this process was defined by a reciprocal cultural exchange that flourished between cities at the periphery—from Lwów and Wilno to Kraków and Łódź—and international centers like Warsaw, thereby illuminating the place of Polish Jews within urban European cultures.


Halina Goldberg is a professor of musicology and director of Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University–Bloomington. She is the author of Music in Chopin’s Warsaw, editor of a special issue of the Musical Quarterly devoted to Jewish culture and music, and director of the digital project Jewish Life in Interwar Łódź.

Nancy Sinkoff is a professor of Jewish studies and history and academic director of the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, at Rutgers University–New Brunswick in New Jersey. She is the author of From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History and Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands.