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This article is based on ethnographic research conducted by me in 2004–2010, alone in the beginning, then with a group of students from the University of Warsaw. The study initially involved only the memory of Jews among the elderly population of Podkarpacie. Later I expanded the topic on the ethnic relations, cultural and religious conditions in the multiethnic society. I will not, however, present here the outcomes, but will share some reflections which I had during my fielwork.Why did I choose this particular region? Podkarpacie constituted a unique area in terms of the complexity of the ethnic mosaic, even for East-Central Europe. In this multicultural world a specific relationship between ethnic groups emerged, each of which had its own specific socio-economic function. This system, created and perpetuated over the centuries of common existence, was the result of two factors — on the one hand, the internal characteristics of a single group, on the other hand, the impact of other groups.

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From the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe supported the development of musical theater in Yiddish. Given the difficulties of life in the shtetl, comprising isolation from non-Jewish neighbors, limited educational opportunities, poverty and political oppression, Yiddish opera functioned as a statement of Jewish nationalism. In this paper, I will discuss the historical conditions under which it was presented, including the following factors: effect of folk music styles documented in the field research of ethnomusicologists in Eastern Europe; topicality of subject matter in Yiddish opera as definition of the growing Jewish nationalist political movement; and identity and background of important composers and performers of the genre, and the effect of emigration to the United States on the style and content of their work.

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? [Hungarian Jewish Revival?] Budapest: MTA Kisebbségkutató Műhely. Magyar zsidó revival? ZBOROWSKI, Mark HERZOG, Elizabeth 1962: Life is with people. The culture of the Shtetl. New York: Schocken Books. Life is with

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’s Moses: Judaism terminable and interminable . New Haven : Yale University Press . Zborowski , Mark and Herzog , Elizabeth . 1995 . Life is with People: The Culture of the Shtetl

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