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Reconstructing Jewish Identity in Pre- and Post-Holocaust Literature and Culture

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Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pedich and Malgorzata Pakier

The volume aims to illuminate the issue of Jewish identity in the context of its pre-Holocaust European origins and post-Holocaust American and Israeli settings. Jewish experience and identity construction in Europe, America and Israel are presented through diverse perspectives: Merchant of Venice in the light of Levinas’ ethics, Italian Jews in the 20th century, German-speaking Jewish authors in the Nazi 1930s, the Hassidic culture of learning, the representation of contemporary Poland in Jewish photography, Jewish life in America in a kashrut observing Orthodox neighbourhood, Kaballah in feminist cyberpunk fiction by Marge Piercy, constructing Jewish identity in British fiction in novels by Will Self and Muriel Spark, and Israeli films focusing on ethical solutions to political problems.

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18th c. Hasidic Thought and Contemporary Approachesto Language and Education. Hanna Komorowska

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18th c. Hasidic Thought and Contemporary Approaches to Language and Education Hanna Komorowska 1. Introduction Specializing in language education issues and not being a historian or an expert in Jewish studies, I have long been interested in Hasidic thought and have al- ways felt a great deal of sympathy for the beginnings of this movement, its per- ception of the world and approach to people. I believe the role of language and communication in those – quite distant – times had enormous, though indirect, consequences for the future of education and culture. We are often unaware of these aftereffects and tend to seek causes of modern tendencies merely in the development of thought at the turn of the 20th and 21st c, not always realizing the richness and diversity of its roots. In order to understand the origins and trace some indirect influences I shall attempt to look at contemporary educational tendencies via the perspective of language teaching and search for at least part of its roots not only where they are most often sought – i.e. in the writings of Komensky (Comenius) and Rousseau – but also in the cradle of early Hasidic thought, that is in the territory of 18th c. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It should be stressed that no direct impact of early Hasidic thought on contemporary educational policy is postulated here. What this text looks into is no more than a parallelism of con- cepts and ideas. Yet, parallels and synergies...

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