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Miesięcznik Żydowski

Polish-language Jewish academic journal. Published by the Menora publishing house and edited by Zygmunt Ellenberg, Miesięcznik Żydowski (Jewish Monthly) appeared in Warsaw between 1930 and 1935; the periodical targeted Jewish and Polish intelligentsia. Miesięcznik Żydowski’s editorial offices were located in Łódź, but its administration and press were in Warsaw. As the journal was financed by subscription, the publishers found it difficult to maintain its continuity. They tried to remedy the problem by printing double issues; however, in 1934, publication was suspended for six months. In all, a total of 46 issues were published.

Miesięcznik Żydowski sought to acquaint its readers with the life of Jews in Poland and abroad, especially in Palestine, familiarizing them with Jewish culture and art, as well as with social, economic, and political issues. Miesięcznik Żydowski defined itself as a forum for “research based on primary sources, academic studies, and reports pertaining to history, religious studies, philosophy, Hebrew and Jewish literature, Jewish art, history, folklore, economics, sociology, anthropology, demography, statistics, ethnic and social movements, emigration, colonization, and pedagogy.” Its regular features included “Studies and Articles,” “Monthly Review,” “Commentaries and Glosses,” “Materials and Documents,” and “Books and Periodical Reviews.”

Among Miesięcznik Żydowski’s contributors were established scholars and younger researchers and publicists. They included Mojżesz (Mosheh) Altbauer, Majer Bałaban, Izydor Berman, Jakub Bleiberg, Roman Brandstaetter, Zygmunt Bychowski, Karol Dresdner, Wilhelm Fallek, Juliusz Feldhorn, Jeremiasz Frenkel, Filip Friedman, Natan M. Gelber, Aurelia Gottliebowa, Apolinary Hartglas, Mojżesz Kanfer, Pinchas Kon, Janusz Korczak, Szymon Landau, Jakub Leszczyński (Ya‘akov Lestschinsky), Chaim Löw, Raphael Mahler, Mateuz (Matthias) Mieses, Ludwik Oberlaender, Edward Poznański, Emanuel Ringelblum, Henryk Rundstein, Jakub Schall, Ignacy Schiper, Mojżesz Schorr, Edmund Stein, Herman Sternbach, Arie Tartakower, Rudolf Taubenschlag, Ozjasz Tillemann, and Jehuda (Yehudah) Warszawiak.

In addition to historical works (Bałaban’s essay “Kiedy i skąd przybyli Żydzi do Polski” [When and Where from Did Jews Come to Poland] symbolically opened the first issue), the journal published articles on contemporary issues: antisemitism, nationalism, demography, and Jewish education, usually placing them in a broader social, historical, and ideological context. Many of the historical studies concentrated on regional topics, focusing (for example) on Jewish settlement in Mazowsze (Mazovia), or on Jewish communities in cities such as Przemyśl, Kraków, and Warsaw. Other essays examined economic history, exploring topics such as the role of Jews in establishing commercial and industrial centers in Poland (including the textile industry in Łódź, or guilds in the premodern period). The questions of Jewish historiography drew special attention, including Jewish historiography in Poland and an assessment of the contribution of outstanding historians (e.g., Bałaban and Schorr) to the field.

Discussing contemporary issues, Miesięcznik Żydowski also considered pedagogical problems concerning children (Janusz Korczak’s article “Dziecko żydowskie (Opinia rzeczoznawcy)” [The Jewish Child (A Specialist’s Assessment)] appeared in 1933) and youth. The Zionist movement, Palestine, and Jewish–Arab relations in Palestine figured prominently on its agenda. The monthly published Polish translations of Bialik and a critical analysis of his poetry, in addition to general overviews of contemporary Hebrew literature. Yiddish literature (the work of Sholem Aleichem and Sholem Asch) was discussed, as was literature in non-Jewish languages produced by authors as diverse as Franz Kafka, Lion Feuchtwanger, Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and Julian Klaczko. Chaim Löw’s study “Żydzi w poezji Odrodzonej Polski” (Jews in the Poetry of Reborn Poland) appeared in the journal, along with essays analyzing Jewish themes in Polish literature (works of Adam Mickiewicz, Cyprian K. Norwid, and Stanisław Wyspiański) and German. Also featured were essays dealing with the Hebrew and Jewish theater (Habimah and the Vilner Trupe), Jewish philosophy (works by Spinoza and Maimonides), and ethnography (Jewish legends). Known for its high academic standards, Miesięcznik Żydowski published primary sources and documents, and reviewed academic publications, including Hebrew and Yiddish books.

Suggested Reading

Zofia Borzymińska, “Miesięcznik Żydowski: W 50 rocznicę wydania pierwszego numeru,” Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego 117 (1981): 63–75; Marian Fuks, Prasa żydowska w Warszawie, 1823–1939 (Warsaw, 1979).



Translated from Polish by Christina Manetti; revised by Magda Opalski