Happy birthday, Polska

by Gordon Haber

My family on both sides came to America from Poland. But American Jews often don’t have a sense of the countries of their forebears. I grew curious about Poland, and after reading a few books I realized that it was (and is) a fascinating place—and that I really wanted to go there.

I was lucky enough to earn a Fulbright fellowship to Poland. I spent a year traveling, meeting people, and eating truckloads of pierogi. I wrote a book about it too. My agent at the time couldn’t sell it—according to one editor, it was “too Jewish for the Poles and too Polish for the Jews.” 

I thought about the manuscript when I remembered that today marks 100 years of Polish independence. So if you want to read it, I can send you an e-book, gratis. Just email me: gordonhaber at g mail.

It’s a portrait of a different time. Poland in the early 2000s had just entered NATO and was joining the EU; there was a sense of openness and optimism. It makes me sad to consider that’s gone now—but also feel grateful that I got to experience it.

Anyway hit me up if you’re interested.