Maria Molenda

Nowy Sącz


My interest in Jewish history and culture date back to early childhood and has a rather traumatic background – namely, a lot of information about the Shoah and the war. Having consumed such a dose of history as a child it was hard not to become profoundly moved by this subject matter.

For the past ten years I have been chairing a foundation called Nomina Rosae that I also established, which deals in history-related matters. I also run a historical theater and a historical dress reconstruction workshop.

Projects related to commemorating and uncovering Jewish history in my hometown of Nowy Sącz and the surrounding region are an important element of Nomina Rosae foundation’s activity. One of the projects we support is Łukasz Połomski’s Sądecki Shtetl program. We organize commemorative events, information sessions on Jewish culture and religion, open lectures, large education programs and workshops. Our activities include art initiatives inspired by Jewish culture – we create our own plays and films.

We also collect original artifacts and antiques and have even set up a website to present our findings. Our activities are frequent and recurrent in character – events related to Jewish history are held in our region year-round. We try to engage in activities of multifold character – so that they present difficult topics as well as those that would encourage others to take an interest in the Jewish history of Nowy Sącz region. In 2016, we successfully launched a program “Małopolska Region Remembers” (Małopolska Pamięta) that is implemented by the Małopolska Voivodeship Office.

These initiatives are all extremely important to me; in fact, I consider them the most essential in my activism, particularly if they have a lasting character. I believe they change the people who get involved in them as well, allowing participants to learn about the history they had not known. For descendants of Jews from Nowy Sącz we at Sądecki Shtetl act as guardians of memory.


Commemorative celebrations of the anniversary of the ghetto liquidation in Nowy Sącz

An annual event held each August, consisting of a call for remembrance, a walking tour through ghetto remains and artistic happenings.

Memorial Week in Nowy Sącz and Gorlice region

Includes a number of commemorative events in various towns

Autumn Yeshiva

Autumn Yeshiva is an annual educational program for local youth, consisting of lectures and workshops on Jewish culture, where top specialists in the field of Jewish history, culture and religion introduce participants to the history of Polish Jews. Autumn Yeshiva also includes workshops that bring once-existing shtetls in Nowy Sącz region back to life. Educational events are accompanied by musical and artistic offerings. Autumn Yeshiva is organized in cooperation with Ada Sari Center for Culture and Art in Stary Sącz.

Series on Jewish tradition and culture

This program series held throughout the year includes lectures, workshops, ecumenical debates and artistic performances. So far, we held two series: “Pulse of Life” and “Encounters with Jewish Holidays”.

Sądecki shtetl in theater and film

Through this initiative, we try to create at least one Jewish culture-inspired film or theater production a year. So far we produced two films: the short-feature documentary  “Sądecki Shtetl” and “Spring” based on the writings of Bruno Schulz. Our theater productions include a Purim shpiel – “Esthera’s Secret”, “Hindele”, which is loosely based on the writings of I.B. Singer, an adaptation of “The Trial” by R.Tagore and “Jan’s Story” about Jan Karski.


This initiative consists of annual commemorations of, among others, the April 1942 action and “November Light of Memory”.

Maria Molenda

Nowy Sącz