Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and University Professor Emerita and Professor Emerita of Performance Studies at New York University. Her books include Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage; Image before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864–1939 (with Lucjan Dobroszycki); They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust (with Mayer Kirshenblatt), The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times (with Jonathan Karp), and Anne Frank Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory (with Jeffrey Shandler), among others.
She was honored for lifetime achievement by the Foundation for Jewish Culture, received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the 2015 Marshall Sklare Award for her contribution to the social scientific study of Jewry. She was recently decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by the President of Poland for her contribution to POLIN Museum. She currently serves on Advisory Boards for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Council of American Jewish Museums, Jewish Museum Vienna, Jewish Museum Berlin, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, and museum and exhibition projects in Lithuania, Ukraine, and Israel.
Doctor of the liberal arts Larisa Lempertienė was born in Ukraine in 1962, was graduated from the Philology Faculty of Vilnius University and later studied in several Hebrew language and Jewish culture programs at the Grinberg Institute and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She defended her doctoral thesis at Vilnius University in 2005. Since 1997 she has taught Hebrew language and European Jewish culture at Vilnius University. She has worked at the Lithuanian National Martynas Mažvydas Library in Jewish book research since 1995, currently director of Judaic center. She is the author and compiler of numerous books, the author of dozens of articles and has been a participant in Lithuanian and international academic projects, internships, conferences and seminars (in Lithuania, Israel, USA, Great Britain, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and Russia). She has also organized international conferences and seminars and worked in the capacity of museum exhibit curator (in Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Israel).
Łucja Koch head of Education Department of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, coordinator of the Jewish Cultural Heritage educational program. A sociologist, Lucja has been working at the POLIN Museum since 2009. She served first as the coordinator of the “Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History” project and next as Project Program Manager. Board member of the Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM).
Aušra Pažėraitė teacher at the Religious Studies and Research Center, Vilnius University. Defended thesis “Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement in Lithuania” at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 2003. Published book based on dissertation in 2005 on the origin and development of Litvak Orthodox Judaism in Lithuania in the 19th century. Author of numerous works on Jewish culture and history published in academic publications in Lithuania and abroad. Created and teaches History of Jewish Thought course at Religious Studies and Research Center at Vilnius University.
Mordechai (Motti) Zalkin is a professor of modern Jewish history in the Jewish History department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. His special field of interest is the cultural and social history of Lithuanian Jewry until World War II. Among his publications: The Jewish Enlightenment in the Russian Empire – Social Aspects; Modernizing Jewish Education in Nineteenth Century Eastern Europe; “Jewish farming and farmers in the Jewish-Lithuanian cultural region”; “The concept of “East European Jewry”, and “Childhood in traditional East European Jewish society”.
Vladimir Levin received his PhD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently he is the Acting Director of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University and a teaching fellow in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is the author of the book From Revolution to War: Jewish Politics in Russia, 1907-1914 (in Hebrew), one of co-editors of the two-volume Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue and co-author of a new book which will be published this year, The Synagogues of Ukraine: Volhynia.
Shaul Stampfer wrote a doctorate at Hebrew University on the history of Jewish education in Eastern Europe and subsequently moved on to work on the history of family structure and on historical demography of Jews. He recently published a study on the story of the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism (three word summary: It never happened) and critiques of some recent studies on the origins of Ashkenazi Jews (eight word summary: If something sounds amazing, it probably didn’t happen). He is now writing a demographic history of East European Jewry.
Saulius Sužiedėlis is Professor Emeritus of History at the Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Dr Sužiedėlis has graduated from the Catholic University of America (Washington DC) where he studied European history. In 1977, he was granted a PhD in history at the University of Kansas (USA). In 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas for his work in Holocaust studies and the humanities.
In 1982-1987 Dr Sužiedėlis worked for the US Justice Department as a researcher on Nazi crimes. In 1988-1990 he produced broadcasts on political and historic topics for the Voice of America. He joined the History Department at Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1990. He edited the Journal of Baltic Studies from 1994 to 1998 and was president of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS 2002-2004). In 2007-2010, he served as director of the annual Millersville University Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide.
Since 1998, Dr Sužiedėlis is a member of the International Commission on the Evaluation of the Crimes of Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania and since 2013, the chairman of the Commission’s working group on Nazi crimes. The focus of his research is the history of Russia, East Europe, Lithuania, as well as issues of the Holocaust and genocide. He is the author of books which include The Historical Dictionary of Lithuania as well as The Persecution and Mass Murder of Lithuanian Jews during Summer and Fall of 1941 (together with Christoph Dieckmann). Dr Sužiedėlis is the author of more than 60 research articles, reports and reviews.