New Multi-Level Partnership will Promote General Knowledge of Polish Jewish History and Culture through Innovative Exchange and Educational and Public Programs
(New York, NY- October 23, 2012) For 87 years, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has been amassing the world’s largest and most historically important collection of materials on East European and Russian Jewish life before and during the Holocaust. Its mission is to preserve, study and teach the thousand-year history and culture of pre-war East European Jews in all aspects: language, history, religion, folkways and material culture. In 1940, amidst the rubble in Eastern Europe, the YIVO Institute was the only secular academic Jewish institution of its time to survive the Holocaust and relocate to New York City.
Since this time, YIVO has spent decades preserving its massive archives and library of unique and rare materials while educating American Jews about the legacy of its East European antecedents. Now, YIVO has a unique opportunity to make available the treasures from its collections and new educational and public programs to Eastern Europe.
The new partnership agreement with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (MHPJ), located in Warsaw, Poland and slated to open in 2013, is the first of its kind for both parties. The MHPJ, founded by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and the City of Warsaw, will exhibit the history of Polish Jews and foster respect for Jewish civilization through educational, cultural and research activities. MHPJ expects to receive as many as 500,000 visitors per year.
“This agreement between the YIVO Institute and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews marks the beginning of an important new phase of engagement and reengagement with YIVO’s homeland in Eastern Europe. We look forward eagerly to strengthening our historic ties to Poland and Polish Jewry through the exhibitions, scholarly research and cultural exchanges which this agreement will facilitate.”
—Jonathan Brent, YIVO Executive Director
“YIVO is not only dedicated to the preservation of Jewish heritage, it is a piece of Jewish heritage within itself. The Museum is very proud to be a part of bringing YIVO resources back to the ‘Old World’, to its home, for the first time in over 70 years. Both our institutions share common goals of preserving the rich one thousand year history of Central and Eastern European Jewry and educating generations to come.”
—Andrzej Cudak, Museum of the History of Polish Jews Acting Director
ABOUT YIVO: Founded in 1925, the YIVO Institute is headquartered in New York City, and is the world’s premier teaching and research institute devoted to East European Jewish Studies with specializations in the Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish experience. www.yivo.org
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS: The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, slated to open in 2013, is the first and only museum to focus on the history of Polish Jews as a whole. Museum visitors will be immersed in an interactive story, a journey through a thousand-years of Polish Jewish history. It will be more than a museum – it will be a multifunctional educational and cultural center, an open meeting place, in a unique building which can already be admired in what once was the heart of Jewish Warsaw. www.jewishmuseum.org.pl