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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1Poles and Jews: Renewing the Dialogue$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113171

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.001.0001

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Statement from the Editors

Statement from the Editors

(p.1) Statement from the Editors
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Antony Polonsky
Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents a statement from the book's editors. Polish Jewry was one of the largest and most important Jewish communities in the world. By the late seventeenth century, nearly three-quarters of the world's Jews lived within the borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Polish Jewry provided the basis for the religious tradition of much of the Jewish world, and the territories of the former Polish states were also the source for those movements — Zionism, Socialism, as well as Orthodox ones — which were to transform the Jewish world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As late as 1939, Poland still contained the second-largest Jewish community in the world, while the largest, that in the United States, derived to a considerable extent from the Polish lands. Today, when organized Jewish life barely survives on Polish soil, it is vital for Jews to preserve the memory of a world from which so many of them are descended and from which they derive so many of the vital springs of their being.

Keywords:   Polish Jewry, Jewish communities, Jews, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jewish world, Poland, Jewish life, Zionism, Socialism, Orthodoxy

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