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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Polish Jews’

Polish Jews against Righteous Gentiles Monument at Ghetto Site

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Poland’s Jewish community does not want a planned monument to righteous gentiles to be erected near the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is due to open this month on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto.

“The community of Polish Jews will never forget the heroism of people who, despite the threat of denunciation and death, were ready to bring aid to victims of the Holocaust,” wrote representatives of the Jewish community in a statement released Thursday. “[But] we believe that this monument should not stand on the remains of those who were not rescued.”

Placing the monument to the Righteous Among the Nations on the site of the former ghetto near the museum would narrow Polish-Jewish history to the Holocaust, the Jewish leaders believe.

The decision to build the monument is set to be announced on April 19, on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The decision on where to build the monument resides with the Warsaw City Council.

From Georgia to Tel Aviv

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A group of immigrants from Soviet Georgia in Lod airport, circa 1972.

In 1907, my own family, on my mother’s side, arrived from Gruzia (I never understood that whole “Georgia” thing – those Brits would have made the whole world sound like it was a suburb of London if we let them). They first settled in Jerusalem, but in the 1930s moved to Tel Aviv, after my mother was born.

On my mother’s side everyone is big and burly and with foreheads that go all the way back to the base of their skulls. My father came from gentle, small framed Polish Jews with heads full of hair.

You win some, you lose some.

Po-Lin

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Dynow


 


      Cleaning works are underway on the grounds of the Jewish cemetery in Dynow. The works are being carried out by the members of the local Town Sport Club “Dynovia” in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

 

 



Dynow - Cleaning the undergrowth in the Dynow cemetery


 

 

Jewish Calendar For The Year 5770


 


     We are happy to inform you that a new Jewish calendar for the year 5770 is available at the Foundation’s office. Richly illustrated, the calendar gives the hours of beginning and ending of Shabbat and Festivals for Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw and Budapest. All interested parties are invited to contact us at fodz@fodz.pl.

 

 


Calendar - The cover of the newly published calendar for 5770

 

 

 

Zuromin


 


    On July 15, 2009, a ceremony commemorating the Jewish community of Zuromin took place at the local Jewish cemetery on Zeromskiego St. Participating were over 100 guests, among them representatives of the Jewish community, local authorities, descendants of the Jews from Zuromin and inhabitants of the town. The ceremony, related to the recent renovation of the cemetery, was organized by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

 

 


Zuromin - Ceremony in front of the gate of the restored cemetery in Zuromin

 

 

 

Galicia Jewish Museum Receives Mezuzot


 


     During the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, on Friday 3 July 2009 a Chanukat HaBayit ceremony took place at the Galicia Jewish Museum to affix mezuzot to the museum entrances. The mezuzot were donated by the Fundusz Michaela H. Traisona dla Polski, and affixed by Michael Traison and Jonathan Webber, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. Chief Rabbi of Krakow, Rabbi Boaz Pash, also attended the ceremony.

 

Israel Artist Builds Mock Kibbutz In Heart Of Polish Capital


 


      Construction of a mock Israeli kibbutz began last week in the heart of the Polish capital, Warsaw. The unprecedented art installation is the brainchild of Israeli video artist Yael Bartana and is to serve as the set of the second in her trilogy of films focused on the symbolic revival of Jewish life in Poland after the Holocaust.

 

    While Bartana usually focuses on Israeli-Palestinian issues, the current project uses imagery from the Middle East to address the history of Polish Jews.  “In this film we are concentrating on the moment when Jews are coming actually back to Poland,” Bartana said.

 

    Kibbutzim are collective communities based on agriculture, originally built by Jewish settlers from Europe in the land of Israel in the early 20th century, well before the May 1948 Declaration of Independence by the modern-day state of Israel.

 

     Before the Shoah there were Kibbutzim set up in Poland by Zionist youth groups to train young Jews to work in agriculture, preparing them to move to Israel.

 

    Bartana’s grandparents, as Jewish immigrants to pre-state Israel prior to World War II, had no direct experience of the Holocaust. But the idea for the kibbutz installation arose after a visit to Poland in 2006.

 

    “I went to different cities and communities where Jews used to live and I came up with the idea that it would be really fantastic to revive the Jewish spirit,” she said.

 

     “What does it bring to the collective memory? What does it mean for the Israelis, what does it mean for Jews, what does it mean to the Poles? And I wanted to kind of cross over emotional elements.”

Jan Karski Honored In N.Y.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

A Manhattan street corner has been named after a Polish World War II hero who brought early eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the West. Madison Avenue at 37th Street was designated Jan Karski Corner. A statue of him stands there, in front of the Polish Consulate.

 

During the war, Karski was a clandestine Polish Government diplomat – in exile – in London.

 

On a secret mission to Nazi-occupied Poland, the Roman Catholic Karski met with leaders of the Jewish underground. They told him about what they called Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.

 

 


Jan Karski (seated) being honored at the Polish consulate in NY

with Rabbi Chaskel Besser in 1996.

 

Yad Vashem recognized Karski in 1982 as Righteous Among the Nations. He was made an honorary citizen of Israel in 1994.

 

At the time of his death, nine years ago in Washington, Karski was a history professor at Georgetown University. President Clinton had been one of his students.


 


Friends Of The Shalom Foundation Launched In N.Y.


 


On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the Friends of the Shalom Foundation of Warsaw will present Jewish Life & Culture of Poland Musical Soiree, a special event celebrating the vitality and cultural vibrancy of Polish Jewish heritage. Hosted by board members Chairman Sigmund Rolat, President Lydia Sarfati, Lea Wolinetz, Rivka Ostaszewski, and Paul Dykstra, the event marks the launch of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation in the U.S. Featuring Golda Tencer, Originator and General Director of the Shalom Foundation Poland, Cantor Joseph Malovany of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and the Ariyon Ensemble of Chicago.

 

The event will serve as a celebration of the culture and arts that flourish in Poland commencing a weeklong of events in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 21, 2009). The Foundation is hoping to encourage membership and support. The Shalom Foundation of Poland was established in 1988 at the initiative of Golda Tencer, an actress and director of the Ester Rachel & Ida Kaminska Yiddish Theater in Warsaw.

 

Amongst the Foundation’s achievements are:

 

1.The creation of the exhibition “And I Still See their Faces,” shown in over 29 museums throughout the world.

 

           2.The establishment of the, “I.B. Singer Warsaw, Jewish Cultural Festival,” an annually scheduled event that draws together outstanding artists and interpreters of Jewish Culture.

 

3. Publications, including:

 

A.     We, Polish Jews, by Julian Tuwim


B.     The anthology, Children of the Holocaust.


C. Accuse, a volume of poetry.


D. Nothing’s a Gift by Wislawa Szymborska


E. Memory.


F. The History of the Jews Before, During and After the Holocaust, edited by Feliks Tych.

 

4. A Center for Yiddish Culture with classes and workshops in Yiddish on various levels, international summer Yiddish language and culture seminars in association with the Israeli organization The National Authority for Yiddish Culture.

 

5. Concerts, documentaries, television and stage productions.

 

The official launch of Friends of the Shalom Foundation will take place at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York under the Honorary Patronage of Honorable Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk.


 


The public is invited to the launching of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation to take place on April 26 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York 233 Madison Ave New York, NY 10016.  Time: 5- 7:30 p.m.  RSVP required. E-mail: FriendsOfShalomRSVP@gmail.com or call 201-549-4200 x248.

Jan Karski Honored In N.Y.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

A Manhattan street corner has been named after a Polish World War II hero who brought early eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the West. Madison Avenue at 37th Street was designated Jan Karski Corner. A statue of him stands there, in front of the Polish Consulate.

 

During the war, Karski was a clandestine Polish Government diplomat – in exile – in London.

 

On a secret mission to Nazi-occupied Poland, the Roman Catholic Karski met with leaders of the Jewish underground. They told him about what they called Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.

 

 

Jan Karski (seated) being honored at the Polish consulate in NY

with Rabbi Chaskel Besser in 1996.

 

Yad Vashem recognized Karski in 1982 as Righteous Among the Nations. He was made an honorary citizen of Israel in 1994.

 

At the time of his death, nine years ago in Washington, Karski was a history professor at Georgetown University. President Clinton had been one of his students.

 

Friends Of The Shalom Foundation Launched In N.Y.

 

On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the Friends of the Shalom Foundation of Warsaw will present Jewish Life & Culture of Poland Musical Soiree, a special event celebrating the vitality and cultural vibrancy of Polish Jewish heritage. Hosted by board members Chairman Sigmund Rolat, President Lydia Sarfati, Lea Wolinetz, Rivka Ostaszewski, and Paul Dykstra, the event marks the launch of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation in the U.S. Featuring Golda Tencer, Originator and General Director of the Shalom Foundation Poland, Cantor Joseph Malovany of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and the Ariyon Ensemble of Chicago.

 

The event will serve as a celebration of the culture and arts that flourish in Poland commencing a weeklong of events in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 21, 2009). The Foundation is hoping to encourage membership and support. The Shalom Foundation of Poland was established in 1988 at the initiative of Golda Tencer, an actress and director of the Ester Rachel & Ida Kaminska Yiddish Theater in Warsaw.

 

Amongst the Foundation’s achievements are:

 

1.The creation of the exhibition “And I Still See their Faces,” shown in over 29 museums throughout the world.

 

           2.The establishment of the, “I.B. Singer Warsaw, Jewish Cultural Festival,” an annually scheduled event that draws together outstanding artists and interpreters of Jewish Culture.

 

3. Publications, including:

 

A.     We, Polish Jews, by Julian Tuwim

B.     The anthology, Children of the Holocaust.

C. Accuse, a volume of poetry.

D. Nothing’s a Gift by Wislawa Szymborska

E. Memory.

F. The History of the Jews Before, During and After the Holocaust, edited by Feliks Tych.

 

4. A Center for Yiddish Culture with classes and workshops in Yiddish on various levels, international summer Yiddish language and culture seminars in association with the Israeli organization The National Authority for Yiddish Culture.

 

5. Concerts, documentaries, television and stage productions.

 

The official launch of Friends of the Shalom Foundation will take place at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York under the Honorary Patronage of Honorable Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk.

 

The public is invited to the launching of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation to take place on April 26 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York 233 Madison Ave New York, NY 10016.  Time: 5- 7:30 p.m.  RSVP required. E-mail: FriendsOfShalomRSVP@gmail.com or call 201-549-4200 x248.

Traces Of Jewish Culture Photo Contest

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

     There is a continuing effort by educational organizations at every level in Poland to bring a better understanding of Jewish culture to the people and especially the youth of Poland. Through education we can bring understanding and through understanding, respect, if not friendship.

 

    Recently an international photographic contest was sponsored by the Youth Center of Czestochowa, under the auspices of Mr. Sigmund Rolat, Chairman of the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and chairman of the World Society of Czestochowa Jews and their descendants, and Mayor of Czestochowa, Tadeusz Wrona. Contest entries came from Poland, Israel and Argentina and had to depict a Jewish theme as well as be artistically pleasing.

 

 


“Concentration,” by Ireneusz Tasarz, of Czestochowa, Poland

 

 

    The photographs were on display at the Polish Consulate in New York, sponsored by the Honorable Krzysztof W. Kasprszk, Consul General of Poland. Filling the exhibit space the photographs drew on the long history of the Jewish people. It highlighted synagogues in Poland and in Argentina, graves in Poland but also Jews studying in a beit medrash in Israel.

 

    They portray both the past as well as the living present and hope for the future. An understanding that Jews and Judaism are not a thing of the past, something only to be seen in museums, but that we are still alive for everyone to see. 

Benefit For The Museum Of Jewish History In Poland

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

On January 14 the North American Council for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews held an evening of theater in support of the Museum. Broadway veterans Marian Seldes and Joan Copeland were the headliners among the actors who recently performed three special plays related to moral dilemmas in the Holocaust. The performances were presented by Susan Charlotte and Cause Célèbre – an organization that produces theater programs to benefit worthy causes.

 

 


Mr. Sigmund A. Rolat and Joan Copeland, at the Benefit for the Museum.

 

 

          The evening’s theatrical event was a grouping of three short plays. The first, starring Marian Seldes and Kent Broadhurst and directed by Christopher Hart, was Berthold Brecht’s short play, “The Jewish Wife.” It is about a woman who flees to Amsterdam because her existence endangers her Nazi husband.    

 

           The second short play written by Susan Charlotte and directed by Anthony Marsellis was “Past-Perfect,” a word play on grammar that quickly morphs into the story of a man forced by his own son to face his father’s complicity in the Holocaust. The short presentation starred Gayton Scott, Kevin Stapleton, Kent Broadhurst and Michael Citriniti.

 

Last, was “The Performance,” written by the late Arthur Miller and read by his sister, the renowned Joan Copeland. As she read the story of a tap dancer who danced for Hitler, y”s, Anita Flanigan, dressed as the main character, danced in the background. The performance was directed by Susan Charlotte.

 

Cause Célèbre was founded to foster enhanced understanding of psychological, physical and social issues through theatre. Each of the three plays performed at the museum benefit was, in one way or another, a comment on the lack of moral clarity in those who were confronted with situations that were unavoidable, but required making hard choices. The goal, said Charlotte, was to make people think.

 

 


(L-R) Alan Silberstein, Evelyn Kupin, Luna Kaufman, Michael Berkowicz, Consul General of Poland Krzysztof Kasprzykat the Benefit for the Museum.

 

 

The museum being built in Warsaw, Poland will concentrate on the complete history of Polish Jewry. It has been said that when a person thinks of the old shtetl it invariably happens in Poland but when the same person thinks of Jewish-Polish relations they automatically think of the Shoah and anti-Semitism. The museum shows how the Jewish population lived, and even flourished, in Poland while not ignoring the facts of the Shoah or even the rebirth of recent years.

 

Chairman of the North American Council for the Museum, Mr. Sigmund Rolat, said, “While it is important to know about the horror perpetrated by the Nazis in Poland, it is even more important to learn about the millennium of Jewish achievement in Poland. The places of birth and the landscape of the great Polish Jews and their fascinating history are much more interesting than the German death camps, especially for the young Jews interested in their positive past and for Polish people who need to understand how their nation came to be and the Jewish contributions to it.”

 

Among the notables in attendance were the honorable Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk, Consul General of the Republic of Poland; Sigmund A. Rolat, Chairman, North American Council MHPJ; David Steiner of Steiner Studios and The National Yiddish Theatre; Charlotte Frank, Senior Vice President of McGraw Hill; Rafael Medoff, Director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies; New Jersey Holocaust Education activists Luna Kaufman and Evelyn Kupin; and Orna Alroy from the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters House based in Teaneck, N.J.

 

 Also present were Masha Leon of “The Forward,” Lea Wolinetz, Executive Director of the Czestochowa Society, artist Fay Grajower and prize-winning author, Sara L. Rosen (Prisoner of Memory). Museum board member Sylvia Safer and NAC treasurer Michael Berkowicz (and his wife Bonnie) were there as hosts. Mr. Berkowicz presented the museum’s mission statement to the audience before the performances began.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/benefit-for-the-museum-of-jewish-history-in-poland/2009/02/04/

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