PROVIDENCE, R.I. August 17, 2001 An exhibit called "Remembering Luboml: Images of a Jewish Community" will be on display at the University of Rhode Islands Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education from September 4 through 28.
The exhibit recreates a swatch of life of Luboml, a village in the province of Volhynia, Poland, which the Nazis emptied of all its citizens on October 1, 1942. Most were later murdered.
A former Luboml resident, Aaron Ziegelman, now a New York businessman and philanthropist, initiated the exhibit. He will give a gallery talk on September 13 at 7 p.m. in the Paff Auditorium of the College. The exhibit and talk at the URI Providence Campus is in collaboration with the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial Museum with support from the Shuster Family Foundation.
The Jewish community of Luboml dated back to the 14th Century and was one of the oldest in Poland. By the 1930's Libivne (as it was called in Yiddish) had a vibrant community of at least 4000 Jews. In fact, Jews comprised an overwhelming majority of the town's population - 91.3 percent according to a 1921 census. Yiddish was the language of the home and daily life. Luboml was a market town with some industry (three large flourmills, a lumber mill, and a distillery).
Most Jews earned their living as shopkeepers and artisans. The big event of the week was Monday's market day when farmers from surrounding villages came to town to sell their produce and buy wares and services from Luboml merchants. As many as 500 wagons gathered in the marketplace.
By the mid-1920's the new Polish government granted limited autonomy to the Jews and they elected the first official council. There was a synagogue, prayer houses, a bath, a community-run school, and social welfare agencies. It was a time of astonishing cultural ferment and change.
Jewish life came to an abrupt end, and thus too did the town, in October 1942 when the Nazis murdered almost the entire town's Jews. Only 51 citizens, including those who had emigrated previously, survived the Holocaust.
In 1994, Aaron Ziegelman, a Libivner who had emigrated to the United States in 1938, initiated the Luboml Exhibition Project to preserve the history and memory of the village. To date it includes a collection of over 2000 photographs and artifacts, along with videotaped oral histories.
"Remembering Luboml" is a traveling portion of the collection currently touring internationally.
For more information call Artist-in-Residence, Steve Pennell, at 277-5206.