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Foundation Momentum Iudaicum Lodzense (Part Two)

         The Foundation Momentum Iudaicum Lodzense was established on November 6 1995. Its initiators were the President of the City of Lodz, the Organization of Former Residents of Lodz in Israel and the World Jewish Restitution Organization. The late Arnold Mostowicz, doctor of medicine, prose writer and journalist, became the first president of the Foundation. The main goals of the Foundation are the saving and preservation of the properties and achievements of Jewish culture and re-establishing and keeping the memory of the Jewish population in Lodz and its significant contribution to the development of the city. These tasks are realized through, among others, caring for Jewish monuments and heritage and supporting cultural-educational initiatives, which serve to recognize and popularize the history of the Jews of Lodz. http://www.lodzjews.org/root/form/en/fundacja2/index.asp


 

 

Galicia Museum


 


         The Galicia Museum in Krakow opened to visitors on April 17, 2004. Located in a former Jewish factory, the official opening took place on June 27, 2004, as part of the Festival of Jewish Culture. The building, which was renovated in post-industrial style and has a total of 920 square meters, contains an exhibition room and cafe seating 40 people. The museum also has a seminar room that can accommodate 60 people and a bookshop with books in Polish, English and German on Jewish life, culture and the Holocaust, as well as Jewish thought, identity and literature. http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/

 

 

Hatikvah


 


         The students and staff at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Wroclaw founded the Polish-Israeli Association of Hope – Hatikvah in the autumn of 2000. Hatikvah functions as a student academic club under the aegis of the Institute of International Studies at the University of Wroclaw. The association’s main aim is to promote wide-ranging contacts and to deepen the friendship between the two peoples, between social and academic organizations in Poland and Israel, and also with the Jewish community in Poland.

 

         One of Hatikvah’s main objectives is to combat religious and ethnic prejudices among young people in Europe, Wroclaw, in particular. It also strives to acquaint young people with the culture and history of minority groups, primarily those living in Poland. The history of the Jews in Europe, specifically in Poland, the State of Israel, Polish-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations and intercultural education are also areas of interest to the association.

 

Jewish Historical Institute


 


         The Jewish Historical Institute (Zydowski Instytut Historyczny, ZIH) is an academic institution specializing in research on the history and culture of the Jews in Poland. The Institute’s origins reach back to the library that was founded in 1881 alongside the Great Synagogue and to the Judaic Studies Library and the Institute of Judaic Studies, founded in 1936.

 

         Today, the ZIH museum has the largest Judaica collection in Poland, including artistic items related to religious practices (made of fabric and silver) and a representative collection of paintings and sculptures, including works by the following artists: M. Gottlieb, A. Markowicz, M. Trebacz, E. Kanarek, R. Kramsztyk, H. Kuna and A. Szapocznikow.

 

         The museum also contains items from the ghettos and death camps. In addition to its publishing activities, the museum sponsors exhibitions and educational activities for school children and students from the Art Academy.


 

 

Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews


 


         The Jewish Historical Institute Association in Poland is the museum’s founding organization. It has established the Museum Council, led by Marian Turski. Work on creating the museum has been carried out by an international group of experts, led since 1999, by Jerzy Halbersztadt, director of the museum project. Polish President, Aleksander Kwasniewski is the honorary patron of the museum’s construction. Former Israeli Prime Minister, and current Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres leads the international honorary committee of the museum.

 

         The future museum will conduct far-reaching activities in the fields of education and exhibitions, and will supplement academic, documentary and publishing activities carried out up to this time by the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland. The museum’s mission is to share with its visitors the history of the Jews in the Polish lands and the wealth of their culture, which developed over the course of centuries, and to help young Jews and Poles overcome prejudices by revealing the truth about their relationship and common history.



 

PAJA


 


         The Polish American Jewish Alliance for Youth Understanding is a Polish-American association whose aim is to support dialogue between young Jews and non-Jews. Dennis Misler, an interpersonal communication trainer, and Zofia Zager founded the organization in 2000. Both decided they wanted to support young people in the difficult process of learning about and understanding each other better, particularly between young Poles of non-Jewish background living in Poland and young American Jews.

 

         From the beginning, PAJA has cooperated with the National Polish American Jewish Council, of which both of PAJA’s founders are members. From the beginning, they have also organized small-scale meetings between Jewish and non-Jewish youth, and in 2002, in conjunction with the Polish Embassy in the United States, PAJA was able to hold large international workshops titled “Developing Connections,” which were widely covered in the American media. http://pajanow.org/index.html

(To Be Continued)

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More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Arnold Fine 2008

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/foundation-momentum-iudaicum-lodzense-part-two/2008/02/13/

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