“One Cannot Overrate What You Are Building for Dialogue“ . With these words the Ambassador of Israel to Poland Zvi Rav-Ner addressed the students at the festive annual Gala concluding the fifth year of the School of Dialogue program.
In the beginning of January, 400 hundred students, their teachers and school principals as well as, international, national and local dignitaries gathered in Warsaw to celebrate the results of the program. Attendees could hear comments from such leaders as Israeli Ambassador Zvi Rav-Ner, City of Warsaw Vice-President Wlodzimierz Paszynski, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland Henryk Wujec.
In his letter to the students, the government’s Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue Prof. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, wrote that “It is remarkable that the next generations of youth find curiosity in themselves to learn the history of their towns, they are able to restore the memory of former Jewish citizens, tell their forgotten stories to their teachers and parents”.
Students from Konin were named honorees for 2012 out of 48 schools that took part in the program. They prepared an innovative city game titled “Reading out stones,” which they filmed and depicted in a memorial book.
2nd prize for the best commemoration project went to a high school from Lomza for designing a professional bilingual guidebook of Jewish heritage in their town.
Three groups of students from Nisko, Ulanow and Warsaw achieved distinctions for their entries. Seven more schools from Bochnia, Chotylow, Frysztak, Malkinia Gorna, Pionki, Pilzno and Złotow received the Finalist Title after careful selection of projects by the Committee comprised of the Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Piotr Cywinski, member of the Warsaw Jewish Community prof. Stanisław Krajewski, historian prof. Dariusz Stola, and representatives of Forum’s Board and staff.
All participating schools received diplomas and were honored as Schools of Dialogue, with each school and participating teacher receiving a set of books on Polish-Jewish relations and history.
Implementation of the School of Dialogue program in 2012 was possible thanks to the financial support of the Bureau of Education of the City of Warsaw, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund, Friends of the Forum, The Pratt Foundation, Znak Publishing House and individual donors.
Awards at the 2012 School of Dialogue Gala were sponsored by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Czarne Publishing House Embassy of Israel in Poland, KK Radom Group, Polish Center for Holocaust Research of the Academy of Sciences, REBIS Publishing House and Znak Publishing House.