Report from a conference: Chava Rosenfarb and Jewish Female Writers of the 20th Century

From 18 to 20 October 2023 The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center in Łódź organized an international conference “Chava Rosenfarb and Jewish Female Writers of the 20th Century” to commemorate a centennial anniversary of Rosenfarb’s birth in Łódź. The Conference took place at the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center and University of Łódź.

Chava Rosenfarb was a Holocaust survivor and Jewish-Canadian author of Yiddish poetry and novels, a major contributor to post-World War II Yiddish Literature. She was a survivor of the Łódź Ghetto, Auschwitz concentration camp as well as Bergen-Belsen. In 1950, Chava Rosenfarb with her husband Henry Morgentaler emigrated to Canada. Her daughter, Goldie Morgentaler, was already born there. Chava Rosenfarb was the recipient of numerous international literary prizes, including the Itzik Manger Prize, Israel’s highest award for Yiddish literature, as well as a Canadian Jewish Book Award and the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation. She was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Lethbridge in 2006. Her daughter, Goldie Morgentaler, is a professor of English literature at the University of Lethbridge as well as a prominent literary translator into English of her mother’s work.

The Łodź Conference was a unique occasion for Polish Canadianists to learn about this outstanding writer, the author of the famous and monumental trilogy The Tree of Life as well as other numerous books and volumes of poetry. Moreover, the conference was attended by many scholars and writers from all over the world e.g. Goldie Morgentaler, Norman Ravvin (who wrote his Ph.D. on Rosenfarb), and Isa Millman among others. It was also attended by many Polish Canadianists: Dr. Krzysztof Majer, Dr. Ewa Urbaniak-Rybicka, Alex Ramon, Prof. Dagmara Drewniak.