• What’s New

    at Forum for Dialogue?

In 2017 Forum has introduced new funding opportunities for Leaders of Dialogue to pursue projects either aimed at establishing relations with descendants of Jews from their towns or create permanent commemoration of the local Jewish heritage that leads to a greater awareness of that history locally. One of the projects made possible thanks to the funding was 4th Days of Jewish Culture “The Close and the Distant” in Mińsk Mazowiecki organised by a local Leader of Dialogue, Katarzyna Łaziuk. This year’s event was aimed at answering the question “Who is man?” because it was asked by Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the greatest Jewish philosophers, the descendant of  Jakub Perłow, a local tzadik from Mińsk Mazowiecki. Its importance was recognized by the presence of special guest of honor – his daughter, prof. Susannah Heschel, an American scholar, the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, working on Jewish-Christian relations in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, the history of biblical scholarship, and the history of anti-Semitism. She met with Mińsk Mazowiecki residents at the Municipal Public Library and talked about the history of the Heschel family and their connections with Mińsk. The meeting was accompanied by a concert “Do not be afraid my little brother” prepared by secondary school students as a tribute to Abraham J. Heschel, who together with Martin Luther King Jr. walked in a famous march from Selma to Montgomery to oppose racial discrimination.

The events surrounding the 4th Days of Jewish Culture continued between November 24-26, and included workshops for kids and students, guided tour of the town “In the search for a human being. Discovering the traces of Jews from Mińsk Mazowiecki”, philosophy workshops focused on texts by Abraham J. Heschel, and lessons devoted to the history and ideas of the Civil Rights Movement and its leader Martin Luther King Jr. The participants even got a special set of postcards presenting the history of the Heschel family and their connections with Mińsk!

After the 4th Days of Jewish Culture prof. Heschel went to Warsaw, where she gave an inspirational talk “Jewish Jesus vs. Aryan Jesus: Why did Theologians Embrace Antisemitism?” focused on the way in which theologians contributed to the whitewashing of the Bible. The event was organized by Forum for Dialogue and the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland. It was followed by a interesting discussion with audience moderated by Zuzanna Radzik, Forum’s member of the board.

Photos by J.Szkarłat

Project financed by the Ledor Wador Foundation.