Portraits in Literature: The Jews of Poland: An Anthology

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9780853038733: Portraits in Literature: The Jews of Poland: An Anthology
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Finalist in Anthologies and Collections, National Jewish Book Awards - Of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, three million were from Poland. Their literary heritage is a treasure to be preserved, and this lavish anthology gathers together the rich and varied forms of magnificent Jewish life and culture from a Poland that is no more. The book includes memoirs, short stories, poetry, eyewitness reports, fragments of novels, essays, letters, folk tales, and humor. The work of writers - both Jewish and Polish, prominent and new - presents a true, valid, rich, and compelling panorama of life as it was. Historically informative, heartbreaking, poignant, and amusing, the book speaks in many voices: those of women, children, and survivors. It is an exceptionally broad range of literature which paints a rich panorama of life before, during, and following the Holocaust, ending with tales of hope and renewal in new centers of Jewish life. With every emotion sensitively and skillfully explored, this anthology will fascinate Jewish and non-Jewish readers, shedding light on the origins and roots of contemporary Jewry in the English-speaking world. Meticulous listing of sources and a bibliography will prove fertile ground for students and scholars alike.

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About the Author:

Under an assumed name, Hava Ben-Zvi survived the Second World War in Eastern Poland. She arrived in Palestine in 1946 still young enough to enter and graduate from High School and then continued on to Teacher's College. The 1950's were years of Ingathering of Exiles from all over the world into the new State of Israel. She worked as a teacher in a Ma'abarah, a transition center for new immigrants, and directly experienced the growing pains and joy of the new State.
In 1957, with their four-year old son, Hava and her husband, Ephraim, moved to the United States as graduate students, where she earned a Master's degree in Library Science and Ephraim a Ph.D. in chemistry. Thereafter, she worked in supervisory positions in public libraries and then served for twenty-seven years as the director of the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles. She received the Ezra Award from the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles for her significant contribution to Jewish education in the community.

Review:

"We cannot get enough of this kind of material in the English speaking world which-sadly-is now the most populous Jewish center in modern life outside of Israel. The translations appear careful and yet imaginative, and the range of literature is stunning."
Dr. William CutterHebrew Union College-Jewish Inst. of Religion

"Many people reading about the Holocaust are unaware that the Holocaust  was the end of a thousand years of Jewish history in Poland. To them it begins in 1939 and ends with 1945.Your book is exceptional... It was of great interest to me."

Leon W. Wells, author of Janowska Road.

"This book is a unique resource not only for those exploring Jewish heritage, but for anyone who seeks to understand the overall history of Europe."

Irene E. McDermott
Librarian, Crowell Public Library, San Marino, California
Author of The Internet Book of Life

"Reading it is a reminder of the riches Hitler attempted to destroy. It is good to be able to recapture some of these riches, and proof that through books like this, the Jewish heritage of gifted writers will stay alive."

Ruth Gruber, author Raquela, Haven, and Pulitzer Prize nominated  Inside My Time: My Journey from Alaska to Israel.

"A most meaningful creative literary tapestry of the magnificent center of Jewish Culture in Poland, a world of beauty and vibrancy that left an eternal indelible mark on the history of the Jewish people." 
Sam E. BlochPresident, American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors.

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