Roots, Resilience and Renewal – A Portrait of Polish Jews, 1975-2016

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Location

Yiddish Book Center (1021 West St, Amherst, MA 01002)

In 1975, the young photographer Chuck Fishman traveled to Poland to photograph what he has described “was then a dwindling remnant of a once-vibrant Jewish community on the brink of extinction.” Returning several times between 1975 and 1983, Fishman’s images provide rare glimpses into Jewish life during a period when Jews in the West had little or no access to their Polish forebears in the post-Holocaust era. Believing his photographs would bear witness to the final days of Jews in Poland, he could not have envisioned, thirty years later, the astonishing rebirth of a people that had inhabited its lands for 1,000 years. His return to Poland in 2013 chronicles a spiritual and cultural “return to identity” that Fishman says “would have been unthinkable before.” His latest work speaks “to themes of resilience and renewal, exploring and elucidating the myriad faces and facets of recovery and re-generation.”

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Made possible through the generous support of the Brechner Family.