Map of Poland

Hornstein students visited Warsaw, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Krakow, Poland in February 2017, an experiential learning tour for second-year students. 

Hornstein students visit Poland, 2017.

See more photos from the Hornstein Class of 2017 tour of Warsaw and Krakow at our Facebook page>

Hornstein visits POLIN Museum with Antony Polansky, 2017

2017
Warsaw and Krakow


Hornstein's Class of 2017 traveled to Warsaw and Krakow, Poland in February 2017 to learn about contemporary Jewish life since the Holocaust. The seminar was led by Professor Len Saxe and was made possible, in part, with support from the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry and the Center for German and European Studies, both at Brandeis University.


Following is a collection of short essays which students wrote while in Poland.


Hornstein visits POLIN Museum 2017Day One, Warsaw
How I Agitated the First Speaker and Why I
t Was a Good Start

By Chen Arad

“Wait wait wait, hold on there!” Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett interrupted me as I was attempting to end my question.

Up to that point, the conversation was everything you’d expect from a meeting between a group of Jewish American, Israeli, and Canadian students of Jewish Professional Leadership and an esteemed professor. We had just concluded a two hour visit to POLIN, Poland’s elegant Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Professor Gimblett, the Chief Curator, discussed the behind-the-scenes considerations they faced while trying to do justice to a thousand years of glorious Jewish-Polish history that are, understandably, overshadowed by the Holocaust. Continue reading>



Walking tour of Warsaw, 2017Day Two, Warsaw
Uncovering Jewish Warsaw

By Daniel Larson

The Hornstein Class of 2017 experienced a jam-packed second day in Warsaw. Kicking off the day was a fascinating meeting with Konstanty Gebert, a Polish Jewish journalist and community activist who framed contemporary Jewish life in Poland, and specifically in Warsaw, for the group. He spoke about the evolution of Jewish communal life in the post-Holocaust period under communism, and how that life manifested under changing Polish state policies and relations with Israel. Continue reading>



Daniel Larson talks with M., Holocaust survivor, JCC Warsaw, 2017Day Five, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow
A Song in Yiddish

By Tamar Shachaf Schneider

Today we went to Auschwitz – Birkenau, where more than 1,000,000 Jews and hundreds of thousands of non-Jews were murdered, during the Holocaust. It wasn’t my first time there, but my third time. It doesn’t get any easier. You don’t get used to it, no matter how many times you’ve been there. Continue reading>



Hornstein visits JCC Warsaw, 2017Day Six, Krakow
Black, White, or Gray? 

By Leo Fuhrman

Starting off the sixth day of the trip to Poland, it was a Shabbat morning, so we did our best to sleep in late. The first meeting we had was at 12:30 pm, a lunch at the Jewish Community Center of Krakow. Even though this was our third meal at the JCC, I still got excited and moved by the atmosphere as if it were the first time. Continue reading>



Hornstein students, POLIN Museum, 2017Day Seven, Warsaw
We Study History to Discover Who We Are

By Rina Wagman and Michal Dicker

As our trip came to a close, we returned to where we began, the POLIN Museum in Warsaw. Just as our initial conversation at the museum with Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett provided a necessary and striking framing for our trip, the opportunity to refract the events and experiences of the past week through the lens of the museum was most edifying. The museum successfully marries the dual Polish and Jewish narratives we encountered throughout our trip of preserving the past and revitalizing the future. Continue reading>



Michal Bilewicz, University of WarsawDay Eight, Warsaw
Language Matters

By Mollie Feldman

The theme of today might be summarized as "language matters." In the morning, second-year Hornstein students traveling on a week-long Poland trip with the Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland, met with Dr. Michal Bilewicz, the chair of the Center for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw. Continue reading>