Siedlce

Reconnecting Ties

Visit of Jewish leaders from Israel

May 2015

In May 2015, Forum for Dialogue hosted an Israeli delegation. They participated in an intense trip, during which they visited Warsaw, Siedlce, Łódź, Kraków and the Museum and Memorial Auschwitz-Birkenau. In Siedlce, the group met with students and teachers from the School of Dialogue program, who showed our guests around the town’s Jewish sites. It was especially meaningful for Erez Shani, whose family came from Siedlce. Yael Golan Seligman, a journalist who also took part in the trip, described their experience in the article:

“We were touched to meet young, non-Jewish students involved in the Forum’s school project. They guided us through the streets of their town, Siedlce, and taught us about Jewish history there – the fruit of research and interviews with family members and city elders.

They showed us where the synagogue and Jewish school were located, and even took us to a brick wall they think served as the ghetto’s perimeter fence.

We followed them fascinated, sharing in their excitement, and when I spoke with some of them I could not help but wonder why they even care about this, and why is this possible now? Young women who are members of the third and fourth post-war generation are making history. Gradually I realized how similar everything was, and how much work the third generation faces in reviving the memories and stories of their silent parents and grandparents. This is the last generation that can still turn to those who lived during that critical period with questions.”