Jewish Studies Research Group Members:
M. I. Morska, Ph.D. Literature scholar. At UC Berkeley and Mills College she studied with Chana Bloch, Naomi Seidman, and Cynthia Scheinberg. Working at the intersection of Jewish, gender, and queer studies, she discussed the figures of conversion in the 19th century Polish literature in her book of literary criticism Obszary odmienności (Realms of otherness) (Gdańsk 2007) and the loss of Yiddishland, jointly with the ideal of “soft” Jewish manhood, in Glorious Outlaws: Debt as a Tool in Contemporary Postcolonial Fiction (Frankfurt am Main, 2016). She participates in panels and discussions on Polish-Jewish relations, such as Jewish Themes in Contemporary Polish Literature at the Conference on Polish Literature since 2009, UCL London (2011) or the presentation of Urche Nachalnik at Pioneering Jews: Cowboys, Rebels, and Trailblazers, Western Jewish Studies Conference, Denver, CO (2009). Her poetry appeared, i.a., in Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets (Kovacik, ed., 2016). Her participation in the 2017 Beutel Seminar for Progressive Jewish Leadership in Jerusalem has provided a direct incentive to establish the Jewish Studies Research Group in April of 2017.
Katarzyna Jerzak grew up in Sopot, Poland. She studied Comparative Literature at Brown University (B.A., 1989) and Princeton University (M.A., 1992 and Ph.D., 1995). Between 1995 and 2012 she taught comparative literature at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. In 1999/2000 she was a Rome Prize Fellow in Art History at the American Academy in Rome. In 2011 she received a Holocaust Education Foundation Course Development Grant for a Holocaust Literature course at the University of Georgia. In 2013 she was NEH Distinguished Visiting Professor at SUNY Potsdam, NY. She is now Associate Professor of English Philology at the Pomeranian University in Słupsk. Her main research interest is exile. She has published on Norman Manea, Henryk Grynberg, André Aciman, Kazimierz Brandys, Giorgio Bassani, and Walter Benjamin. In 2017/2018 she was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” (University of Warsaw). In the summer of 2018, she attended the three-week long International Seminar for Educators at Yad Vashem. Her translation from the Polish of George Dynin’s Aryan Papers appeared in 2014 (Archway Publishing, Bloomington, IN). In October 2018 she will be presenting a paper entitled “Multifocal Memory of the Holocaust in Henryk Grynberg’s Oeuvre” at the 2018 PAAS conference “Challenging America, American Challenges” in Łódź, Poland.
Olga Kubińska, Ph.D. Literature and translation scholar, poet. She writes about the tabooization of Jewish themes in the Polish translation of Calek Perechodnik’s memoir (“Tabu polskie, tabu żydowskie–przekłady pamiętnika Calka Perechodnika”; W. Kubiński, co-author ) and about the bilingual poetry of Irena Klepfisz (“Fasetowany język: bilingwalna poezja Ireny Klepfisz w poetyckim dyskursie o Zagładzie” . She explores the theme of emotions in translating the Holocaust literature while, simultaneously, is in the process of composing an anthology of Holocaust poetry by bilingual women poets (Rozdwojony język. Bilingwalne poetki Holokaustu). Her research includes representations of Holocaust in literature (mainly within the domains of English and Polish) with emphasis on representation and experience of women. She published four volumes of poetry (Biały kwadrat i inne obrazy ; Zaduszki , Życie , and Body Art ). She studies Yiddish at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Ksenia Kosakowska, Ph.D. She holds the doctoral degree in Jewish Philosophy from Jagiellonian University (2008), as well as the MA in Jewish Civilisation from Rothberg International School at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and MA in Philosophy from Silesian University in Katowice. She co-authored a project and book about Poznań Jews in the interwar period, FIRA Poznańscy Żydzi. Opowieść o życiu (2014) and published a volume of poetry Ktoś mi dał skrzydła (2013) about her spiritual awakening in Devonshire and Jerusalem.
Maria Kawska. She holds the double MA in Jewish Studies and Psychology from Jagiellonian University, Kraków (2010, 2011). In her research, she focuses on the culture and art of Yiddishland (preeminently film and music), the presence of women in the interwar Jewish culture, and visualizations, as well as psychological, historical, and artistic ramifications of the Shoah. She has collaborated with the POLIN Museum in Warsaw, Bente Kahan Foundation in Wrocław, and the New Synagogue in Gdańsk, where she lectures on Jewish social and political history at the Open University Beit-Meir and teaches Yiddish songs workshops. Her MA thesis, entitled Women of the “golden era” of the Jewish Cinematography in Poland, received a distinction award from the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Under the penname of Maria Ka, she designs theatrical and musical performances, inspired by Jewish culture in cooperation with other artists, such as Music to the Lost Yiddish Film or Pins (about the poet Zuzanna Ginczanka).
Anna Lewandowska, MA. Graduate of the Slavic Studies and Law Department (double major) at the University of Gdańsk. Currently a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Sociology, Philosophy and Journalism at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Privately enamored of French literature and culture. Within her broad research interests, she explores Jewish subjects; in particular, within the field of linguistics and cultural studies. In the future, she plans to investigate specific issues related to Yiddish Sign Language and the culture of Deaf Jews.
Rebekka Kabat. Painter, poet, and cabalist. She studied Russian literature at the State University in Grodno. She then independently pursued psychology, parapsychology, and bioenergotherapy. In 2014, she published a volume of poetry about her spiritual journey, in Russian, with the support of the National Library in Belarus. From 2012 she lives in fusion with Judaism; from 2015 she studies at the Open University Beit-Meir at the New Synagogue in Gdansk, and since 2016 she is immersed in the study of Kabbalah. She studies at the International Academy of Kabbalach, located in Petah Tikva, Israel, under the auspices of Bnej Baruch, Kabbalah Education and Research Institute.
Anna Hamanowicz. Polyglot and multiple languages study fiend, Paideia Institute in Stockholm Fellow of 2017, where she completed an 8-month course in Jewish Studies, she is working towards her MA degree in Jewish Civilization at Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg. She holds the BA degree in Scandinavian Studies (her BA thesis was entitled Metaforer för hiv och aids i Jonas Gardells trilogi ‘Torka aldrig tårar utan handskar (Metaphors of HIV and AIDS in Jonas Gardell’s trillogy Don’t ever Wipe Tears without Gloves). Her main research areas within the domain of Jewish Studies are Jewish languages (mainly Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol and Yiddish), their history, and their influence on languages within the countries inhabited by Jews; Israeli LGBT cinema, and philosophy (mainly the life and works of Baruch Spinoza).