Reconnecting Ties

Meeting with Mark Halpern and Michael Tobias

November 2013

In the course of School of Dialogue workshops, students take part in a meeting with an invited guest – a representative of the local government, local activist or Jewish history scholar. This time, in the course of their final workshop session, students from Stanisław Staszic Technical Integrated High School Complex in Białystok had the opportunity to meet three very special people.

On November 14, 2013, Mark Halpern and Michael Tobias from Jewish Records Indexing-Poland genealogical group. Mr. Halpern, whose roots are in Białystok, is also the founder of BIALYgen – Bialystok Region Jewish Genealogy Group. The meeting was also attended by a representative of Białystok’s Jewish community Łucja Lisowska, chairperson of Poland-Israel Center for Civic Education Poland Association (Stowarzyszenie Centrum Edukacji Obywatelskiej Polska-Izrael).

After mutual introductions, meeting participants discussed students’ impressions from School of Dialogue program. Guests also answered students’ questions about Jewish culture and traditions. The meeting made students realize the importance of their final project work for School of Dialogue program, seeing how it contributes to reestablishing ties with descendants of Białystok Jews scattered throughout the world.