Horstein students at Polin Museum 2017

Hornstein Seminar to Poland 2017
Day 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.

Our evening concluded with a discussion with Professor Anthony Polansky, former Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the museum.

Prof. Polansky believes "we study history to find out who we are." Our immersive study of Polish history, Jewish history, and our history over the past week has no doubt helped us find out who we are as Jews and leaders. We feel most grateful for this unforgettable experience.


In February 2017, the Hornstein Class of 2017 traveled to Poland with Professor Leonard Saxe for an eight-day seminar to study contemporary Jewish life in that country. This is a blog post from that seminar written by a student or pair of students.

This year's seminar was supported, in part, by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry and the Center for German and European Studies, both at Brandeis University.

For more photos, see our photo album at our Facebook page.