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Blogs and podcasts

Rabbi Samuel Mohilever – toward ‘the gates of hope’

Over the last 15 years of his life, Rabbi Samuel Mohylewer worked and taught in Białystok. He argued that Jews should have their own homeland, like other nations awakening in the late 19th century. He wanted the Jewish state to be established in Palestine as the fulfilment of prophecies and Jewish activism. Rabbi Mohylewer advocated secular knowledge, urged his people to learn foreign languages, and supported business, especially agricultural activity. Thus, along with rabbi Kalischer from Toruń, he is considered one of the patrons of religious Zionism. The building of the synagogue named after him still stands in Białystok today, although precious little reminds us of its onetime significance. Perhaps one day soon the city will begin its plans to restore the site to central importance in Białystok.

December 15, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

Menachem Begin – a Pole “born in Jerusalem”

Menachem Begin never practised law, though he graduated from the University of Warsaw's Law Department in 1935. However, the unyielding attitude he acquired in Poland never left him. He insisted that Jews must fight for their own state, and not wait for it, trusting others. His militancy aroused controversy and opposition even among activists politically close to him. And yet it was none other than Menachem Begin who went on to forge peace with Egypt in 1978, an accomplishment that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.

December 14, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

Rabbi Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer from Toruń – Proactive Messianist

Everyone has heard of the great astronomer from Toruń - namely, Copernicus. However, another great man from Toruń, Rabbi Tsevi Hirsch Kalischer, is virtually forgotten even in the city where he lived and worked in the 19th century. Rabbi Kalischer wrote the work of 1862 "Derishat Tsiyon", which laid the religious foundation for the return of the Jews to Palestine. The way toward the fulfillment of this positive, messianic vision did not rest with awaiting a miracle, but with persistent work. This is why the outstanding rabbi from Toruń enjoys a central place in the history of contemporary Israel.

December 13, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

David Gordon from Ełk – one of the Three Greats of early Zionism

The construction of the railway in the middle of the 19th century was the beginning of revolutionary changes in Elk. It also enabled the development of the first Hebrew magazine in Europe, Ha-magid. One of its creators was David Gordon, a prominent journalist who made a great contribution to the development of the language of the future state of Israel. The publishing house at the Ełk synagogue gave birth to words which still describe the contemporary world.

December 10, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

Nahum Sokolow – “The world’s most important Jew”

Nahum Sokolow played knights in front of the synagogue in Wyszogród. He received a scholarship in Płock to develop his outstanding intelligence and would later go on to negotiate the return of the Jews to Palestine with the pope and the heads of the great powers of the beginning of the 20th century. He wrote thousands of articles and dozens of books and even invented the name Tel Aviv. However, he never stopped thinking and writing in Polish, and in his home the term 'płocczanin' (someone from Płock) was always uttered with a sense of pride.

December 6, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

There is a portal to Israel in Poland. The Jewish State was conceived on the Płonka River

David Ben-Gurion, one of the founders and the first prime minister of Israel, was born and grew up in Płońsk. Here, by the Płonka River, together with his friends, he was dreaming about the Jewish state.

November 10, 2021 - Jarosław Kociszewski Philip Earl Steele

The Story of Belarus

The nation, its history and a new hope. A new podcast documentary series

November 25, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 40: Will COVID-19 bring a new world order?

Our experience with the coronavirus demonstrates that pandemics know no borders. Nearly every country has been affected. The economic crisis that continues to take a toll on societies shows that more than ever solidarity and global solutions are needed for global problems. Will the COVID-19 pandemic force humanity to rethink the international system and global order? Can future crises be averted by better global coordination and a more robust system?

June 11, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 39: COVID clampdown in Chechnya

Information coming out of Chechnya is hard to come by. It is controlled by the tight grip of the Republic’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov. This episode attempts to get insight into what the response to COVID-19 looks like in the Russian Republic of Chechnya.

June 3, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 38: China’s unlikely interest in Lithuania

For the last several years China has viewed the region of Central and Eastern Europe as an opportunity to gain a foothold in the European Union and influence states between the East and the West. One country not often considered as one in China’s focus is Lithuania.

May 25, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe 37: Update on Armenia

It has been two years since Nikol Pashinyan has come to power after the Velvet Revolution in Armenia. In this episode Adam catches up with Richard Giragosian to discuss how much has changed in the country and how much has not.

May 16, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Talk Eastern Europe Podcast

Talk Eastern Europe is the official podcast affiliated with New Eastern Europe - hosted by Adam Reichardt, Maciek Makulski and Agnieszka Widłaszewska

May 11, 2020 - New Eastern Europe

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