29.07.2020 - online

Between the synagogue and family home

Stół, krzesła, kredens - wyposażenie dawnego domu żydowskiego - inscenizacja
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

In a series of five films shot at the permanent exhibition, we will show where the ceremonies marking the subsequent life stages of the religious Jew took place and where everyday life was lived.

We will tell, e.g., about the naming ritual, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah - rites accompanying the young man's coming of age, about wedding and funeral. We will invite viewers under the colorful vault of the 18th-century synagogue and stand with them under a wedding canopy.

We will also visit the market square and the inn as places where the economic activity of Jewish families concentrated for several centuries, and as the space of daily interactions between Jews and Poles.

Program of the series "Between the synagogue and family home"

  • 8 July: Circumcision - a sign of the covenant

    Brit mila literally means covenant of circumcision. This is the moment when the newborn boy becomes a full member of the Jewish community. This is the day he will be given a name.

    When should the circumcision ceremony take place? Who participates in it? Who is the mysterious guy who always appears on it? You will hear the answers in the film in which our guide, Damian Pisarski, talks about the circumcision ceremony.
  • 15 July: Bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah - what are they?

    Together with our guide, Julia Chimiak, you will enter a wooden, 18th-century synagogue from Gwoździec and a Jewish house, where you will hear about one of the most important events in the life of a Jewish boy - bar mitzvah. For a 13-year-old from a religious family, this is the moment of entering adulthood.

    How does the ceremony look like and what responsibilities does a Jewish teenager take on then? Is there an equivalent to this ceremony for girls and can they also read the Torah in the synagogue?
  • 22 July: A wedding in the Jewish tradition

    The narration by our guide, Katarzyna Jakubowicz, will allow you to learn about the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, which we present at the permanent exhibition in the museum.

    You will see what the place where the wedding ceremony takes place looks like and how exactly it proceeds. You will learn why this day is one of the most important in the life of every Jew. During our film story you will also see many interesting items related exclusively to this day.
  • 29 July: Funeral customs

    In this story, we will learn about the approach to death in Jewish culture. We will take a look at traditions, find out how gravestones have changed over the centuries and what inscriptions you find on them.

    Do you know what a funeral ceremony looks like in the Jewish tradition? Who is involved in preparing the deceased for burial? What symbols do usually appear on gravestones? We invite you to watch the film in which our guide, Damian Pisarski, will talk about funeral customs.
  • 5 August: Meeting on the market - about everyday contacts of Jews and Christians in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

    The market square and the inn are places where the life of people in the towns and cities of old-time Poland was concentrated. Locals and visitors, peasants, burghers and merchants, Christians and their Jewish neighbors met there.

    At the market stall and behind the table, deals were made, loans were taken out and repaid, and news were exchanged. During the virtual journey via Gdańsk and Zamość to Zhovkva, located in Ukraine today, we will see how the exchange of goods built everyday relations between Jews and Christians: sometimes friendly, and sometimes marked by competition and conflict.

    Led by: Katarzyna Jankowska and Mariusz Jastrząb, PhD - guides of the POLIN Museum.


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