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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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Some Basic Characteristics of the Jewish Experience in Poland

Some Basic Characteristics of the Jewish Experience in Poland

Chapter:
(p.28) Some Basic Characteristics of the Jewish Experience in Poland*
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

Gershon David Hundert

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0004

This chapter investigates the basic characteristics of the Jewish experience in Poland. For much of its history, the Polish-Jewish community was the largest in the world. It is generally asserted that there was dramatic growth in Jewish numbers during the 16th century, but it is also known that the proportion of Jews in the towns of Poland–Lithuania increased dramatically during a 150-year period beginning in the late 17th century and continuing through the 18th century. In this case, there was relative security in numbers. More than security, there was a sense of rootedness and permanence about this community. Another basic characteristic of the historical experience of Polish Jewry is the Ashkenazic character of that community. Beginning with medieval Ashkenazic forms, the Jews of the Polish Commonwealth developed the most ramified and durable of the autonomous institutions of Ashkenazic Jewry.

Keywords:   Jewish experience, Poland, Polish-Jewish community, Poland–Lithuania, security, Polish Jewry, Jews, Polish Commonwealth, Ashkenazic Jewry

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