University of Wrocław's Department of Jewish Studies Receives Capital Grant from Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture


March 22, 2016


The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture has awarded the University of Wrocław’s Department of Jewish Studies (DJS) a grant of $100,000.00, to be distributed over two years. The grant will support the renovation of the Department of Jewish Studies’ new location in Wrocław’s historical center, close to the University’s main campus. The space will provide an increased number of classrooms, offices, and conference and seminar rooms for the Department of Jewish Studies, as well as the Department’s first designated space for its ever-growing library. The grant will also cover the cost for equipping and furnishing the new space.


Dr. Agata Rybińska (L) recei​ves her doctoral diploma from Professor​ Marcin Wodziński (R) of the University of Wrocław's Department of Jewish Studies. 


“The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture is proud to support Wrocław University’s Jewish Studies Department and the leadership of its faculty chair, Prof. Marcin Wodziński,” says Tad Taube, chairman of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture. “With our lead gift, Jewish Studies will receive the critical support it deserves for its stellar academic program, which attracts students and faculty of the highest caliber. It is our hope that other donors will help the Jewish Studies Department raise the additional $100,000 needed to complete the renovation project.”


Professor Marcin Wodziński, head of the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław, and expert on Hassidism.


The Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wrocław was established twenty years ago, just after the fall of Communism. Providing one of the most rigorous Jewish Studies university programs in Poland, the Department has rapidly expanded in the past few years, quickly outgrowing its previous space. In recent years it has grown into an institutionally independent Department of Jewish Studies, part of the Faculty of Letters. “Without the support of the Taube Foundation, the refurbishment of and move into our new space would be simply impossible. I believe this is a great contribution towards the development of Jewish Studies in Wrocław, but I dare say this is also important for the position of the field of Jewish Studies more generally in Poland and in Eastern Europe,” states Wodziński, a professor of Jewish history and literature and chair of the DJS. His fields of interest include Jewish material culture and the social history of Jews in nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, especially history of Hasidism and Haskalah.  


Dr. Marcin Wodziński (pointing, center) teaching students how to read ​matzevot (Jewish headstones)​ in Sieniawa, Poland​.​