New Initiative: Global Education Outreach Program
Expanding the Resources and Impact of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute
The exhibits and programs of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews tell the epic story of a millennium of Jewish history in Greater Poland that continues to illuminate the world. Cutting-edge multimedia exhibits in the Museum’s eight Core Exhibition galleries and an array of public programs offer visitors unique insights and experiences about the many fascinating aspects of Jewish life, culture, and politics in the lands of Greater Poland — for centuries the heartland of the Jewish diaspora and the birthplace of much of modern Judaism. Many of the Museum’s scholarly endeavors exist in collaboration with the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, the world’s largest repository of Polish Jewish history.
The Global Education Outreach Program (GEOP), a new initiative of the Taube Philanthropies and partners, aims to transmit the Museum’s educational message and unique resources worldwide, and to provide access to the Institute’s archives. The GEOP offers scholarly exchanges and international group visits, as well as globally accessible online educational resources. The Global Education Outreach Program will:
- Create global academic partnerships with major universities, offering seminars, research grants, summer school programs, and conferences in Polish Jewish studies.
- Develop educational exchanges with top-tier collaborators, such as YIVO, Facing History and Ourselves, the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, Yad Vashem, the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco, March of the Living, and Birthright Israel.
- Train Museum-based educators to engage with visitors from North America, Israel, Europe, Russia, Australia and elsewhere.
- Launch online programs to extend the Museum’s educational impact beyond the walls of the classroom and the academy.
- Publish educational materials including the Core Exhibition catalogue and scholarly publications.
- Offer genealogy services for visitors to access on-site and online.
- Provide a Jewish Heritage Tourism Program to serve visitors interested in exploring Poland and their family roots.
- Showcase the contributions of Polish Jewry in Judeo-Christian Western culture.
Activities to Date, as of October 1, 2014
The Global Education Outreach Program is deepening the impact of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews by forging academic partnerships around the world that further the study of Polish Jews across all fields and disciplines. Such partnerships have been established between the museum and universities and research institutions in North America, Europe, Israel, Russia, and Australia. The GEOP is supported by San Francisco-based Taube Philanthropies, the Koret Foundation, and the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation.
In October, Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation will bring a delegation of scholars to the Core Exhibition’s October 28 Grand Opening, and in the months to follow, the Global Education Outreach Program will support exchanges that bring museum scholars to the United States to give lectures and present and discuss their research.
GEOP-funded activities 2013-2016
Linkage funded between POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and University of Southern California Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive of 52,000 searchable audiovisual testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides.
Dr. Antony Polonsky, an award-winning historian and the Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University, appointed as Chief Historian of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews; his affiliation with the museum is part of the GEOP.
Core Exhibition catalogue.
Taube-hosted delegation of GEOP Jewish studies professors to Grand Opening including from Stanford, USC, and Jewish Theological Seminary.
November 11-18, 2014
Core Exhibition Scholar of Hasidism, Dr. Marcin Wodzinski, chair of Wroclaw University Jewish Studies Department, hosted at UC Davis and lectures about POLIN at UC Davis, Berkeley, Stanford, and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.
November 15-18, 2014
Annual Conference of Association of European Jewish Museums to be held at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
February 3-12, 2015
POLIN educators visit and train at USC Shoah Foundation Visual Archive and with Stanford’s Jim Joseph Chair in Jewish Education and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Jewish Family & Children’s Services Holocaust Center, among others.
Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Core Exhibition director (and professor in the Department of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University), to tour and lecture in Bay Area, hosted by Stanford, supported by GEOP.
May 11-15, 2015
Dr. Antony Polonsky will chair an inaugural international conference of scholars at POLIN to study the Core Exhibition and evaluate what has been achieved in the past 30 years in the study of the history and culture of Polish Jews, as well as what is missing in the existing historiography. 50 speakers from around the world and 200 participants expected.
First research fellowships for graduate students and faculty to work at the Museum and the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
Polish translation and publication by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (based in Vilna, Poland) of Prof. Samuel Kassow’s book, The Distinctive Life of East European Jewry.
Active partnerships exist between POLIN and the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, YIVO, USC Shoah Foundation, Stanford, Facing History and Ourselves, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (founded in 1364; the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest in Central Europe), Wroclaw University, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, U.C. Davis, Graduate Theological Union, and George Washington University.