2019 School of Dialogue Gala
April 17, 2020, an internet audience of over 2,000 School of Dialogue students, teachers, and Forum supporters from all across Poland and beyond joined us at the #OnlineGala. This impressive online event has celebrated the efforts of those who have completed the program the previous year as well as schools that continue their involvement in bringing back the Jewish memory of their towns.
#OnlineGala provides more materials on students accomplishments and messages of support and congratulations from friends and allies of the Forum as well.
The winner in the “Diversity” category: Henryk Sienkiewicz Primary School in Kałuszyn.
As part of their research, the students interviewed their parents and grandparents. Some of the stories they heard were first-hand accounts. Other were passed from generation to generation. Five recorded and transcribed interviews enriched students’ research.
The students also cleaned up the plot near the monument devoted to local Jewish community. They organized a photo exhibition, movie screening, music concert and offered refreshments. You can see all that on a dedicated website.
Using different tools and media, they inspired and sparked interest in local history among their peers.
The winners in the “Discovering history” category: students from Tadeusz Kościuszko Primary School in Długosiodło.
At the beginning of the project, they hadn’t even realized that half of their town was Jewish. Inspired by a meeting with descendants of Jews from their hometown, they took it on themselves to discover the town’s past.
They went through chronicles, talked to elderly neighbors and family members. They read pre-war students’ registry, where they discovered the story of a Holocaust survivor from their town. They called her a “superhero.”
The students prepared an exhibition, showcasing their discoveries. School of Dialogue helped them see their town from a new perspective. They realized that discovering local history was their task.
The winners in “Innovation” category: St Jadwiga of Poland High School N° 2 with Bilingual Instruction in Siedlce.
Students used various kinds of media. They reached their town’s residents via street surveys, pamphlets, and conversations.
They took care to have an active and updated social media presence, documenting their activities, including a creation of an online platform, designed to make virtual meetings with Jewish history possible.
During the walking tour of the Jewish sites of their town, they marked each step with outlines of feet drawn in chalk, by both the adults and children alike.
When they explained this project they said that it symbolized the fact that all leave a trace, but it is up to us to give chalk to others and preserve the outlines already made so they don’t vanish.
The winners in the “Impact on Local Community” category: students of the Henryk Sienkiewicz Primary School in Przasnysz.
The students set the bar high making sure their activities were publicly visible. They had to cope with positive and negative comments.
They also established meaningful relations with Jews coming from their town,now scattered around the world.
They took care of the local Jewish cemetery, and marked the Jewish past in the city space.
They engaged their parents, local activists, and authorities in their efforts.
With their resilience and hard work, they popularized knowledge about Jews from their town. They say it themselves: “There is a lot to do, so let’s continue with the mission.”
We would like to thank the institutions, organizations, and companies, as well as individual donors for their contributions. The 2019 School of Dialogue program and the Gala wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of Friends of the Forum, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund, and CAF Canada. We would also like to thank the individual donors, as well as the following institutions for contributing towards this year’s Gala and awards for students : Agora S.A., Wydawnictwo Agora, Wydawnictwo Austeria, Azrieli Foundation, Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów IFiS PAN, Centrum Żydowskie w Oświęcimiu, Wydawnictwo Czarne, Dom Spotkań z Historią, Fundacja Edukacyjna Jana Karskiego, Fundacja Gazety Wyborczej, Wydawnictwo Iskry, Kantar, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Media Rodzina, Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN, Muzeum Sztuki Współczesnej w Krakowie MOCAK, Ośrodek KARTA, Tygodnik Powszechny, Wydawnictwo WAM, Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak, Żydowski Instytut Historyczny im. Emanuela Ringelbluma, as well as Fundacja Orange, Green Caffè Nero, Grycan – Lody od Pokoleń and Muffia Bakery who were ready to support us on the day of the Gala. We are also proud to have the media patronage of Gazeta Wyborcza and Onet.
Great success of #OnlineGala would not be possible without the talent and patience of our friends and partners at IDFX event agency. Thank you for your creativity and enthusiasm!
We would also like to express our gratitude to The Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera for their readiness to host the Gala for the seventh time. Even though we had to cancel the event, we hope we will meet there once again next year!