Warsaw museum launches film comp to document connection 9 million descendants of Polish Jews around the world have to Poland today

For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world, and it was a principal center of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of religious tolerance and social autonomy. By 1939 it was the largest Jewish community in Europe. POLIN Museum

The tragic harvest that Germany’s Holocaust against the Jews reaped on its victims is well known.

Also well known is that around half of these were Polish Jews. 

Perhaps less well known is that there are estimated to be around nine million descendants of Polish Jews living in all corners of the world, including South America, North America, Australia, Europe, Israel, Poland and South Africa.

What do these people think about the land their forebears came from and what is their connection to Poland today? 

Roman Gutek (pictured) will be judging the films which will be up to 5 minutes in length exploring how contemporary Jewish communities from around the world relate to the legacy that Polish Jews have sown around the globe. Sławek / Wikipedia

Now, POLIN museum of the history of Polish Jews has launched a competition to find answers to these questions in the form of short films. 

Filmmakers are being asked to make films up to 5 minutes in length that explore how contemporary Jewish communities from around the world relate to the legacy that Polish Jews have sown around the globe. 

The museum is keen to receive stories of individuals, families, organisations, communities, events or objects that connect these communities to the places where their families once lived.  

The museum, which hopes to capture how Jewish communities connect to the place Jews called Paradisus Iudaeorum, Latin for Paradise of the Jews, is keen to receive stories of individuals, families, organisations, communities, events or objects that connect these communities to the places where their families once lived.  Adrian Grycuk / Wikipedia

In this way, the museum hopes to capture how Jewish communities connect to the place Jews called Paradisus Iudaeorum, Latin for Paradise of the Jews. 

For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world, and it was a principal center of Jewish culture thanks to a long period of religious tolerance and social autonomy. By 1939 it was the largest Jewish community in Europe.

The fourteen winning films will be featured in POLIN’s multimedia narrative exhibition which is dedicated to the thousand-year history of Polish Jews.

The fourteen winning films will be featured in POLIN’s multimedia narrative exhibition which is dedicated to the thousand-year history of Polish Jews.POLIN Museum

Only the best films can be expected to be included as the jury line up is formidable. It includes Roman Gutek, founder of the Warsaw Film Festival and film distribution company Gutek Film. 

Also on the jury is Aviva Weintraub, director of the New York Jewish Film Festival and Associate Curator, The Jewish Museum in New York, and Rebecca Gruber founder and director of Asylum Arts in New York, which supports contemporary Jewish culture on an international scale.

The short films are expected to be based on interviews, documentary footage, archival materials, home movies, animation, and video art.