Reconnecting Ties

Facing History and Ourselves Educators’ Visit

July 2016

On Friday, July 22, Facing History and Ourselves Educators held a Shabbat dinner in Szczebrzeszyn with Leaders of Dialogue and Alumni of the School of Dialogue. American teachers were joined for dinner by Małgorzata Piłat and Franciszek Sobczuk from Szczebrzeszyn, Stanisław Kowalczyk from Józefow Biłgorajski and Marek Kołcon from Zamość. They sang, bonded, and welcomed the Shabbath together in what many participants called the highlight of the trip. The next day, the group went on a tour Szczebrzeszyn, which was followed by several hours of Shabbat leasure and later workshops and reflective discussion.

The New Jersey Jewish News published an article that features impressions of Melissa Weiner, a participant in Facing History and Ourselves study trip to Poland, about a Shabbat evening in Szczebrzeszyn. In her moving testimony, she states, “We are forever changed by this simple, restful Shabbat in a little shtetl”.

A Visit of Friends of the Forum

July 2015

On June 27, 2015, a group of twenty-four friends of Forum for Dialogue flew from the United States and Australia to Poland to take part in a seven-day trip – the first Friends of the Forum study trip to our country. Szczebrzeszyn, with its rich history and equally interesting present times, was part of the program of the visit.

The guests were welcomed by the Leaders of Dialogue from Szczebrzeszyn – Małgorzata Piłat and Kinga Kołodziejczyk, as well as students from Zamoyski School Complex No. 1, School of Dialogue 2012.

While in the synagogue, Małgorzata Piłat told the guest about the history of the Jewish dentist’s signboard she had found in the attic and the activities of the Szczebrzeszyn Kultur association. Magda Sobczuk, School of Dialogue alumni, shared a story about her local involvement, inspired by her participation in the School of Dialogue program. The hosts and their guests also visited the Jewish cemetery in Szczebrzeszyn where unique matzevot with traces of polychrome can be found.