• Forum for Dialogue

    Inspiring New Connections

Forum for Dialogue is dedicated to inspiring new connections between contemporary Poland and the Jewish people.

Forum recognizes that the traces of ties that were ruptured in World War Two remain in memories and family stories, but also in misunderstandings and prejudices harbored. Our work in Poland focuses on raising awareness of the histories of Jews in Poland, including the way these histories were conveyed to descendants of Polish Jews. We show different perspectives on shared historical events. Internationally, we facilitate the formation of bonds between Jews and the country of their ancestors. We build people-to-people trust. We confront difficult questions. We connect people and their histories.
We work with thought leaders, activists, teachers and students from Poland and from abroad. Together we hope to write a new chapter in Polish/Jewish history.

fot. M.Halaczek

I feel that I now belong to Poland, that I established my relationship with a country that is a part of me and my childhood.

Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, London

Forum for Dialogue foundation has worked in the field of Polish-Jewish dialogue since 1998.
From the outset, Forum has been providing space for Poles and Jews to meet and to get to know one another despite historical divisions. Forum is the largest and oldest Polish non-governmental organization involved in Polish-Jewish dialogue. We focus on working with young people and public opinion leaders.
The foundation was established in Gliwice as Forum for Dialogue Among Nations (Forum Dialogu Między Narodami). Forum’s local activism led to unveiling of a plaque commemorating the city’s Jewish residents and a meeting between their descendants with present-day Gliwice residents in 2003.
In that same year, the foundation moved to Warsaw. We began as a local organization in Gliwice; today we work nationwide towards creating and empowering the community of activists involved in caring for local Jewish heritage.

We cooperate with local community leaders and at the same time educate students in almost 50 schools all over Poland each year. Our educational project School of Dialogue attracts ca.1200 participating students annually.

We act both locally and globally.
Through our study tours, we have built a network of people both in Poland as well as among Jewish communities of the United States, Israel, Canada and Australia; these individuals understand our mission and wish to have their share in it. Forum for Dialogue is also the long-standing partnerships with other organizations dealing in Jewish matters (American Jewish Committee) or education (Facing History and Ourselves). We have been working towards building Polish-Jewish dialogue for almost twenty years and we intend to grow and continue our mission!

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Forum for Dialogue Team

Andrzej Folwarczny

President

Founder and President of Forum for Dialogue. He is a former Member of the Polish National Parliament (Sejm) and acted as the Chairman of the Polish-Israeli Parliamentary Group. He is the co-editor of the anthology “Difficult Questions in Polish-Jewish Dialogue”, published in 2006. Between 1999 and 2004, he served as the Vice-President of the Israel-Poland Friendship Association (Towarzystwo Przyjaźni Polsko-Izraelskiej).

Michał Bilewicz

Vice President

Social psychologist and professor at the Department of Psychology of the University of Warsaw, where he chairs the Center for Research on Prejudice. His research focuses on issues of prejudice, group conflicts, anti-Semitism and dehumanization. He is the former editor of the Jewish Youth magazine “Jidełe”, and a journalist of “Słowo Żydowskie” (Jewish Word). Co-editor of “Difficult Questions in Polish-Jewish Dialogue” book, published in 2006 by Forum for Dialogue.

Zuzanna Radzik

Executive Board Member 

Theologian who graduated from the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Warsaw as well as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. She investigates Christians’ relations with Jews and Catholic feminism. She regularly contributes to the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny; her debut article “Basements Still Rotting” led to the shuttering of an anti-Semitic bookshop in Warsaw.

Jakub Petelewicz

Director of Education

Historian active in researching the Holocaust. He is a co-founder, member and academic secretary of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is the editorial assistant for “Zaglada Zydow. Studia i Materialy” and “Holocaust Studies and Materials”. He was one of the authors of the initial concept of the Holocaust Gallery at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Olga Kaczmarek

Director of International Relations

Holds a Ph.D. in cultural studies and is a lecturer at the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw. She was a Fulbright fellow at Penn State University in 2012/2013. She previously collaborated with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews on The Polish Righteous program and worked as a Forum for Dialogue educator.

Monika Halaczek

Director of Development

Graduate of international relations with experience in coordinating programs for youth and non-formal education. She has worked with Humanity in Action Poland, supporting summer human rights programs. Through the HIA Grassroots Activism Fellowship, she interned at the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco, USA.

Marta Rauk

Communications Manager

Graduate of clinical psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw. She also completed postgraduate studies in art history (social and political perspectives) at Collegium Civitas in Warsaw. She has co-organized cultural projects with the Puszka Foundation and The Mazovia Region Centre of Culture and Arts, and has served as a volunteer at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Jagoda Szkarłat

Project Coordinator

Graduate of cultural anthropology and Hebrew language at the University of Warsaw. She worked for several NGOs: Foundation for Somalia, Amnesty International, Foundation for Positive Changes and Center for Citizenship Education. In 2012-2013 she was on a research fellowship in Israel, during which she also interned at Rabbis for Human Rights organization. She guides in POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews. She worked as a Forum for Dialogue educator between 2009 and 2016.

Julia Machnowska

Project Coordinator

Graduate of the Faculty of Journalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw. Currently, she is completing her MA degree in history at the University of Warsaw. Julia has worked with the editorial team of Magazyn Miasta at the Res Publica foundation. She is also involved with The Studio of Reportage and Document of Polish Radio, where she specializes in reportage.

Izabela Meyza

Project Coordinator

Graduate of Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw. She completed the School for Trainers, “STOP,” and other courses for educators. For more than ten years, Iza has been working with children, teenagers and teachers as an educator. She works with many organizations involved in non-formal education as a creator of educational programs and as a workshop leader. In her work, she draws on the concept of nonviolent communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg.

Anna Barańska

Bookkeeper

Involved with non-governmental organizations since 2009. At the Forum for Dialogue, she is responsible for financial and accounting services in collaboration with an accounting office, as well as managing projects co-financed by public funds, EU funds, and international grants.

Marta Usiekniewicz

Communications Assistant

Holds a Ph.D. in Literature and Gender Studies. She lectures at the University of Warsaw’s American Studies Center and at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw. She was the recipient of the Fulbright Junior Research Award, which she spent at SUNY Buffalo. She was also an intern at AJC headquarters in New York. She has been working with Forum for Dialogue since 2007.

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Maria Sokołowska

Office Assistant

Graduated from the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw. She conducted filed research on the anthropology of religion in Ukraine. She worked with the Zaczyn Foundation focusing on activities designed for seniors.

Foundation Council

Henryk Wujec – Chairman of the Forum’s Board of Trustees

Roman Kraczla

Andrzej Mochnacki

Jarosław Nowakowski

Michał Pastuszka

Executive Board

Andrzej Folwarczny – President

Michał Bilewicz – Vice President

Zuzanna Radzik – Board Member