Reconnecting Ties

Visit of Facing History and Ourselves educators

August 2015

In August 2015, Forum for Dialogue for the third time hosted representatives of the Facing History and Ourselves organization. Thanks to support from the Polish Embassy in Washington, our guests visited Warsaw, Kraków and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial. They also met School of Dialogue students in Końskie that showed them Jewish past of the town. After the meeting guests expressed their deep admiration for the students’ work:

“Thank you for  taking a risk, the risk to learn not just from the triumphs of history  but from its troubles, and the risk to teach it to us. We appreciated learning the facts form you but more importantly, we loved that you care to make a difference. (…) From what we learned, we know you will continue to make your community proud of you and Poland proud of you”- Jack Fidler.

“I know that the things you learned about were not all pleasant, and you were courageous to confront the difficult memories as well as the happier ones. I was especially impressed with your research skills in discovering the photo of Leni Riefenstahl, and also discovering the traces of the mezuzah at the old Talmud Torah. You and your classmates should all feel really proud of how much you have learned, and how many people you have affected by sharing your knowledge” – Ellen Friedman.

Visit of Jewish community leaders from UK

May 2015

On May 7, 2015 a group of representatives of Jewish community from the United Kingdom, who were invited to visit Poland by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met the participants of the School of Dialogue from the High School in Końskie. After a short workshop during which the whole group could find out about each other and about their common passions the students guided a tour around Jewish sites of Końskie.

Despite the fact that the official presentation of their project in the form of an urban game is still a few weeks away the students impressed their guests with their knowledge about the Jewish everyday-life in Końskie, some war-time events such as the visit of Leni Riefenstahl, their discoveries such as the mezuzah trace in the former building of Talmud-Torah school and many, many more. This meeting was also an opportunity to learn about Judaism and the Jewish culture from experts who were among the guests.