Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism in borderland of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine

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Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism in borderland of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine

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A Jewish town Ostroh

A Jewish town Ostroh

John Thomas James, Journal of a tour in Germany, Sweden, Russia, Poland in 1813-14. Vol. 2, London 1819, pp. 377-378.

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In the footsteps of local photographers

In the footsteps of local photographers

The beginnings of photography in Poland date back to 1839 when the news of the daguerreotype reached the country. Photography quickly got popular, and near the end of the 19th century professional photography salons grew in numbers fast. In some towns there were even several of them. It is worthwhile to pay attention to the fact, that the photographer's profession was usually taken up by Jews. The activity of itinerant photographers was an extraordinary social phenomenon of the break of the 19th and 20th century in Poland. They travelled the province and offered their services as photographers. No documents on the topic remain, which is why their photos are the only evidence of their activity. Currently the memory of these photographers is being brought back, but many of them remain unknown or forgotten. Because of the aura of mystery and uniqueness surrounding the black-and-white prewar photographs, it is worth it to learn something about them. We kindly invite you for a journey in the footsteps of local photographers.

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Ostroh - guidebook

Ostroh - guidebook

Ukr. Острог, Yid. אָסטרע

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The route of Jewish printeries

The route of Jewish printeries

We invite you to join the route tracing Jewish printeries, which were very important places for Jewish communities. Because of their extraordinary care for books, including the most import one, the Torah, for centuries Jews have been called the People of the Book. Publishing books was even called "awodat ha–kodesh", "a sacred profession". Hebrew printing houses published a Hebrew Bible with commentaries, as well as sermons, ethical and Talmudic treaties, midrashes, Jewish legal codices, and prayer books. A significant percent of the published books was Cabbalistic and Hassidic literature [1].

The beginnings of Jewish publishing on the historical Polish territories dates back to the first half of the 16th century – the oldest printing workshops were founded in Kazimierz near Kraków (1534) and in Lublin (1544–1682). Thanks to beneficial administrative decisions, favourable bishop censorship, and magnates' conviction that founding a printery brought numerous benefits (for instance increased the economic standing of the city, enabled export–oriented production, contributed to educating the residents, increased income) in the 17th and 18th centuries there appeared dozens of new publishing houses: in Biała Cerkiew, Białorożce, Bogusław, Bracław, Dubno, Dubrowno, Korets, Międzyboż, Międzyrzec, Mińkowice, Ostroh, Połonne, Poryck, Radziwiłłów, Szkłów, Sławut, Sudyłków, Zasław, and other places. Despite all of this, until the 19th century their publishing could not compete with a rich selection of books imported for the needs of the Jewish population of Poland.

The 19th century brought a significant change to that. At that time a clear breakthrough in the number of Hebrew and Yiddish publications took place, especially in the Austrian and Russian partitions.

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The route tracking An–ski's ethnography and journalism

The route tracking An–ski's ethnography and journalism

We invite you to a journey in the steps of a Jewish ethnographer, writer, and social activist – S. An–ski.

The route includes 7 townships in Volhynia: Luboml Volodymyr-VolynskyKovelLutskOstrohDubnoKremenetsKorets.

The route: 420 km, time of a car journey – one week.

Visiting the townships along the route is connected to the topics present in the source materials (reports and folklore) and the preserved iconographic materials.

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Yizkor book of Ostroh

Yizkor book of Ostroh

Sefer Ostrog (Vohlin); matsevet zikaron le-kehila kedosha (Ostrog book; a memorial to the Ostrog holy community),  Editor: Yitzhak Alperowitz; Chief Coord: Chaim Finkel, The Ostrog Society in Israel, Published: Tel Aviv 1987 (H, Y, E, P 436 pages)

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