Pre-WWII Jewish Polish Jewish Travelogs

Jewish Life in Bialystok

Jewish Life in Cracow

Jewish Life in Lwow

Jewish Life in Vilna

A Day in Warsaw

Produced by Yitzhak Goskin
Text and Narration by Asher Lerner
Photography by V. Kazimierczak

with new English Subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

Arrange a Screening

Contact us at jewishfilm(at)brandeis(dot)edu
or call 781-736-8600 to book now

Public Exhibition Formats: DVD, Beta

Photo: YIVO Institute
Used with permission

Selected Screenings

Medias Central European Film Festival; Bucharest, Romania (2012)
Festival de Cinema Jueu de Barcelona (2010)
Yiddish Foundation, Amsterdam (2008)
Milwaukee Museum of Art (2008)
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2008)
National Gallery of Art, DC (2007)
Jewishfilm.2007; NCJF Annual Film Festival (2007)
Vienna Jewish Film Festival (2005)
Jewish Film Week, Vienna (2004)
Montreal Jewish Film Festival (2003)
Seattle Jewish Film Festival (2002)
Film Society Lincoln Center (2002)
Berlin Film Festival (1992)
Art Institute, Chicago (1997)
Film Society Lincoln Center (1996)
Barbican Center for the Arts, London (1996)


In 1938 and 1939, Shaul and Yitzhak Goskind of Warsaw-based Sektor Films produced six short films about urban Jewish communities in Poland. One, about Lodz, is lost. The other five - on Bialystok, Cracow, Lwow, Vilna and Warsaw — have survived.

Viewed together or separately, they present vibrant portraits of people, communities and institutions all but completely obliterated after the Nazis invaded and occupied Poland during World War II.

Series Credits

Presented by Yitzhak Goskind
Text and Narration Asher Lerner
Photography V. Kazimierczak
Lab "Sektor"
Sound Neo-Vox


Jewish Life in Bialystok
1939, Poland, 10 minutes
B&W Yiddish with complete new English subtitles

DVD - Educational Use
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DVD - Home Use
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Vivid cinematography and music evoke the industrial and cultural center that was Bialystok in 1939. Images of smokestacks, power looms and textile workers; downtown shops and buses, market day with peasants and horses; schools, synagogues, the Sholem Aleichem Library, the TOZ sanatorium and a community-run summer camp reflect the diversity of the city’s 200-year-old Jewish community. In addition to the tile-roofed home of Dr. Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto, Jewish Life in Bialystok features memorable images of a spacious park where young adults relax and children play.

NCJF Film Restoration

Preserved and restored funded by Max Ratner (a Bialystoker) and his wife Betty

Special thanks to The American Film Institute, Brandeis University, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, Charles Casper, Shaul Goskind and Natan Gross

1989 Restoration © The National Center for Jewish Film
Producer Sharon Pucker Rivo
Associate Producer Miriam Saul Krant
English Subtitles Sylvia Fuks Fried
Technical Directors Eileen Finkelstein, Nancy Seymour
Titles Frame Shop
Laboratory John E. Allen, Inc.

Purchase the Film

 $18.00 + shipping
Home Use Policy (pdf)

Educational Use Pricing Explain

$25.00 - DVD Classroom/Library Use + shipping

Educational purchase DOES NOT include public performance rights. Library/Classroom Use Policy (pdf)


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