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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11Focusing on Aspects and Experiences of Religion$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774051

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.001.0001

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The Congregation of the Great Synagogue in Warsaw: Its Changing Social Composition and Ideological Affiliations

The Congregation of the Great Synagogue in Warsaw: Its Changing Social Composition and Ideological Affiliations

Chapter:
(p.112) The Congregation of the Great Synagogue in Warsaw: Its Changing Social Composition and Ideological Affiliations
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11
Author(s):

Alexander Guterman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.003.0009

This chapter details how the congregation of the Great Synagogue in Warsaw reflected the social dynamics that had transformed the face of Warsaw Jewry. They included an increasingly large proportion of Jews whose way of life distanced them from the devoutly Orthodox masses. Many showed clear signs of acculturation, Polonization, and an ongoing process of assimilation, although such behaviour may not have been motivated by any clear ideology of integration into the Polish nation. While many of the Great Synagogue's leaders tried to influence the views of the congregation, it was the members themselves who shaped the image of the synagogue. Their loyalties represented the spectrum of allegiances in the Jewish population of Warsaw at the time, and as Jews from the countryside joined their brethren in the capital, the Great Synagogue came to reflect the social and ideological transformations taking place among Polish Jewry in the early part of the twentieth century, especially between the two world wars.

Keywords:   Great Synagogue, Warsaw, Warsaw Jewry, Jews, acculturation, Polonization, assimilation, Jewish population, Polish Jewry

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