The Association grew out of the International Conference on Polish-Jewish History held in Oxford in 1984. It was marked by a new openness and willingness of Poles and Jews to listen to each other and question previously accepted dogmas. It also participated in the Conference on Jews in Inter-war Poland at Brandeis University in 1986 and in the Conference on Jewish Autonomy in Pre-partition Poland in Krakow in the same year. The Association helped organize a Conference on the History and Culture of Polish Jews at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1988, which was attended by 300 scholars, 80 of them from Poland. It also co-sponsored a conference in Lodz in 1991 on “Lodz as a Multi-Ethnic City” and another at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna on the relationship between Jews, Poles and Ukrainians in Austrian Galicia. In September 1994, we organized a conference in Cambridge, MA on “The Legacy of Polish Jewry”. In September 1996, we held another conference in Cambridge under the title “Living Side by Side”, which attempted to investigate why attempts to integrate the Jews into Polish society were not, for the most part, successful, and why two separate and often hostile societies emerged on the Polish lands in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
In 1998, we organized a conference at the Judaica Centre in Kazimierz-Krakow, Poland on “The Golden Age of Jewish Galicia”. Since then we have organized an annual conference in London in conjunction with the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies to launch each volume of Polin.