As the summer gets underway there are many events throughout Poland connected to Jewish history and culture. It usually kicks off with the massive Krakow Jewish Festival and ends with the Singer Festival in Warsaw. Also many Jewish groups come to Poland during the summer to visit their hometowns, work in the cemeteries and look for connections to the pre-Shoah past.
Krakow Jewish Festival’s Awards For Tad Taube And Sigmund A. Rolat
The 19th Krakow Jewish Festival came to a successful conclusion last week with close to 1,000 events and 130 different artists performing to tens-of-thousands of participants from around the world. Two U.S. philanthropists with Polish-Jewish roots – Sigmund A. Rolat and Tad Taube received a special Festival award during the “Shalom on Szeroka Street” concert on July 4.
Mr. Sigmund Rolat of New York
The award is funded by the Friends of the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival and is awarded to those, who have supported the Festival and made its existence possible. For more information on the Krakow Jewish Festival and to see videos of the events go to http://www.jewishfestival.pl/index.php?lang=e.
Mr. Tad Taube of the Taube Foundation of California
The Mayor of Lodz, Jerzy Kropiwnicki was honored as host of the Festival of Jewish Culture in Lodz, held from June 14 until the end of the month, as part of the 65th Anniversary of the Liquidation of Litzmannstadt Ghetto by the Germans. The events included concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions, Jewish cuisine workshops and Yiddish and Hebrew language courses.
The year 2009 was proclaimed a year of Jewish Culture in Lodz. As Mr. Kropiwnicki stated at the conference, it was of great importance for the city and its citizens to learn about Yiddish culture that was once vivid, strongly connected with Polish culture and familiar to city residents, and is now merely a reflection of memories from the past.
At the end of August there will be a conference marking the final destruction of the Lodz Ghetto. For more information on Lodz Jewish community, cemetery and events go to http://ghetto.lodz.pl/
The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland signed an agreement with the Plock Synagogue Society. Within its framework the Foundation will support the “Adaptation of a former Synagogue on Kwiatka St. for the Museum of Plock Jews” project, realized by the society. During the renovation the synagogue will be fully restored and will host the newly created museum.
European Jewish leaders Meet Polish President
European Jewish leaders met with Poland’s president to discuss Holocaust commemoration, fighting anti-Semitism and the Iranian nuclear threat.
“The government of Poland has long been an important ally and partner of the State of Israel and of Jewish communities in Europe,” European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said Tuesday following his meeting with President Lech Kaczynski and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
Kantor also met with former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, with whom he co-chairs the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, a non-governmental organization that sponsors several initiatives to promote tolerance and mutual respect throughout Europe.
He called the discussions “friendly and constructive.” Kantor said Kaczynski agreed to discuss restitution in a separate meeting later this year.
On the issue of Iran, Kantor and the Polish officials discussed the fact that Iran is a global threat jeopardizing world stability rather than just a “Middle East problem.”
“In Europe, it is clear that we are standing at an important crossroads of history,” Kantor said. “As Europeans, we therefore have a special opportunity and obligation to work together to build a tolerant community of nations, regardless of race or religion.”Shmuel Ben Eliezer