Reconnecting Ties

Israeli Rabbis Visit Wąchock


In 2011, two Israeli rabbis with family roots in Wąchock visited Poland. The two guests first met with Forum for Dialogue’s President Andrzej Folwarczny to learn about the foundation’s mission and educational activities. Next, they headed to Wąchock to explore their ancestry and meet with the local junior high school students who had participated in the School of Dialogue program in 2009.

In the course of the meeting, the rabbis told the youth about Wąchock’s former Jewish residents. They were then taken on a walking tour of the town by the students, who showed them the sites of the synagogue and mikveh as well the rabbi’s house. The tour ended in the town’s Jewish cemetery, where rabbis recited psalms and explained to students the significance of remembering the dead in Judaism. Students and teachers assured them that they would be taking care for the site.

On July 20, 2011 Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper Hamodia with readership among mostly the ultra-Orthodox published an article about Forum for Dialogue and School of Dialogue program under the title: “Poland: Polish youth care for Jewish cemeteries”. Writing about the meeting with School of Dialogue participants, the author stated: “This interest yields to hope that the new generations will set example for other towns and villages in Poland.”