“Jews in Polish Liquor Trade” to be next CJS topic

The College of Jewish Studies will continue its fall program of lectures – under the theme of “Jews in Business: Historical Perspectives” – on Thursday, November 19, at the Jewish Community Center, at 7:30 pm. Professor Glenn Dynner will present a program titled “Jews in the Polish Liquor Trade.” The cost for the lecture will be $8, or $5 for seniors. Binghamton University students may attend at no charge.
Dynner said of his research, “By the end of the 18th century, Jews ran the vast majority of taverns and distilleries in the Polish lands. As liquor became the region’s main boom industry and peasant alcoholism its main social problem, the Jewish role in the liquor trade aroused resentment. Yet, despite a series of legislative onslaughts, Jewish tavern keepers usually managed to remain in the trade surreptitiously. They were able to do so because, although opposed by some of the most powerful groups in Polish and Jewish society alike, one group continued to give them cover: the very local Christians they were accused of victimizing.”
Dynner is a scholar of East European Jewry and professor of Judaic studies at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of “Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society” (Oxford University Press, 2006), which received the Koret Publication Prize and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. As a Fulbright scholar, Dynner traveled to Poland and began uncovering hitherto unknown archival sources on 19th century Polish Jewry. He is currently writing a book on the role of Jews in the Polish liquor trade. He is also co-editor of a book on Jewish and Christian mysticism in Eastern Europe. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, an M.A. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.
The College of Jewish Studies is presented by a coalition of the Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Broome County, Beth David Synagogue, Temple Concord and Temple Israel. Partial funding is provided by the Jacob and Rose Olum Foundation, B’nai Brith Lectureship and an endowment fund from the former Temple Beth El of Endicott.