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Accepted Paper:

Significant ancestors and soul-stirring sympathies: kinship, affinity and conversion in Poland's Jewish revival  
Jan Lorenz (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses kinship in the context of claims to Jewish affiliation and practices of becoming Jewish by conversion in contemporary Poland enabled by the "Jewish revival" and informed by its global context.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks at the two phenomena closely associated with the transformation of Poland's Jewish institutions, informed and shaped by the meeting of local and global visions, projects and activists: claims to Jewish affinity and becoming Jewish by religious conversion. The grassroots movement of Jewish religious and cultural revival, initiated in the late-communist era and intensifying after the political shift of 1989, combined with the extensive support of international Jewish charities, furnished new criteria and ways of becoming Jewish. This predisposed some individuals of partial Jewish ancestry, often raised in Catholic homes, to become socially and religiously active as Jews, as well as giving other Poles the possibility to become Jewish through conversion preceded by elaborate and long preparations. These "returns" and "becomings" invite us to return to the topic of kinship and examine it at the crossing of religiosity, sensibility, genealogical filiation, imagination and the global politics of belonging.

Panel P137
The future of global belonging: anthropological legacies of kinship studies
  Session 1