Translated Title: Odrodzenie życia żydowskiego w Krakowie?
Abstract: Many readers may be taken aback by the eponymous question. The “reconstruction”, “renaissance”, or “revitalization” of Jewish life has usually been referred to in the affirmative, not necessarily denoting one and the same notion of that phenomenon in each case. It may be worthwhile setting out to explore this issue by establishing in the first place what “Jewish life” consists of, where “the Jewish” and “the non -Jewish” have their dividing line, and what criteria should be assumed if the choice were between the objective and the subjective ones. More questions arise from such deliberations, pertaining to the definition of Jewish culture, Judaism, Jewish space, and Jewish identity; should these concepts be looked at from the perspective of essentialism or constructivism? or may be a new perspective is to be sought, one that sits somewhere at the junction of these two extremes? Every community obviously faces problems caused by the designata of collective categories; however, the contemporary Jewish community seems to be particularly affected by these in Poland. It is beyond doubt that the principal reason for that situation stems from the Holocaust – the experience and aftermath of that tragic event.
Translated Title: The Revival of Jewish Life in Kraków?
Abstract: After first outlining the notion of anti-Semitism, the predominant survey method used for researching it, and the history of the presence and the current (near) absence of Jews in Poland, this article gives the results of different surveys of various kinds of anti-Semitism in this country, including the authors' own, and discusses the findings of their qualitative study – focus group interviews with members of three different Catholic communities from three different cities. The qualitative study confirmed the hypothesis that imagined and stereotypical rather than real Jews are the objects of modern anti-Semitism in Poland, while real historical and stereotypically perceived Jews are the objects of its religious and post-Holocaust variants. The roots of religious anti-Semitism lie in the not entirely absorbed teachings of the Catholic Church on the Jewish deicide charge. Religious anti-Semitism supports modern and post-Holocaust kinds of anti-Semitism. Modern anti-Semitism is rooted in poor education, lack of interest in the Jewish history of Poland, lack of inter-group contact, and persisting stereotypes of Jews. Among the various Catholic communities of Poles, there are considerable differences in attitudes to Jews. The qualitative study also revealed a methodological deficiency in the standard survey questions intended to measure anti-Semitism, which are sometimes understood as questions about facts rather than about opinions.