All the talk about Jewish cultural revival in Poland has people asking: What’s it like to be Jewish in Poland today? How do young Jews relate to their religion, to Israel, to each other?
The Return, a new film with upcoming screenings across the country, gives audiences a glimpse into this complicated world. The director, Adam Zucker, gives us portraits of four women in Poland, each looking for her own expression of Judaism. Kasia, Tusia, Maria, and Katka are all searching for religious expression, for home, and for their place within both the Polish and the worldwide Jewish community.
On the one hand, their stories might feel very distant from American Jewish life. Many Poles, like some of these women, don’t find out about their Jewish origins until they’re adolescents or older, and the discovery can feel like a shock or a confirmation of something they always suspected. But on the other, they face the same issues as many Jews the world over: whom to marry, how to relate to Judaism as a woman, who, exactly, is a Jew—and who gets to decide.
November 12, 2014