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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Tonight! Erica Lehrer launches Lucky Jews: Poland's Jewish Figurines

Join us tonight at 7 p.m. for the launch of Erica Lehrer's new book Lucky Jews: Poland's Jewish Figurines

In Poland today, “Lucky Jews” outnumber Polish Jews. Figurines and images of Jews holding money have proliferated in Poland with the country’s transition to capitalism. These good luck charms hang in homes and sit by cash registers in shops and restaurants across the country. Are these images positive or negative? Do they divide Poles and Jews, or bind them together? Are they souvenirs, talismans, toys? Holocaust ghosts or patron saints of Polish capitalism? By exploring what Jewish figurines mean to those who make and buy them, Lucky Jews offers a provocative perspective on the place of Jews in Polish consciousness today.

Join in a discussion about a unique aspect of Poland's current fascination with Jewish culture.

Shtetl Montreal host Tamara Kramer will talk with anthropologist and curator Erica Lehrer her book Lucky Jews, which grew out of her 2013 exhibit in Krakow of Polish-made Jewish figurines.

Books will be available for purchase, and the film "A Jew for Luck" (24 min., English & Polish with subtitles) by Polish director Paulina Fiejdasz will also be shown.

Visit www.luckyjews.com for more info.

Co-sponsored by CEREV.

Erica Lehrer is a socio‑cultural anthropologist and curator. She is currently Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the departments of History and Sociology‑Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal, where she directs the Centre for Ethnographic Research & Exhibition in the aftermath of Violence (CEREV). She is the author of Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (2013), and co‑editor of Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places (2010). In summer 2013 she curated the exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, Poland.

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