The annual School of Dialogue Gala concludes Forum’s educational program and celebrates the achievements of more than a thousand of students who participated in the School of Dialogue program. During this festive event organised in Warsaw, the prizes are awarded to students who prepared the most interesting and most original projects, implemented on a large scale, perfectly identifying local problems and effectively reaching a wide audience.
We want the Gala to gather those who appreciate students for their efforts: state representatives, Jewish representatives, and diplomats. For them, the School of Dialogue Gala is an occasion to thank all the students.
Nearly 1,300 students and teachers from all over Poland, Forum educators, representatives of state authorities and the diplomatic corps, local governments as well as scientific and cultural leaders gathered at the 2015 School of Dialogue Gala, held in Teatr Wielki, the Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Poland, on March 8. Forum for Dialogue organized the annual Gala to celebrate the achievements of students who took part in the School of Dialogue program, discovering the Jewish history of their towns.
In 2015, the School of Dialogue program was implemented in 46 junior high and high schools in towns where the Jewish communities were present before the war. All schools that completed the project received the “School of Dialogue” title. The 1st prize in the competition for projects commemorating pre-war Jewish communities was awarded to Janusz Korczak High School No 2 in Wieluń.
The students from Wieluń not only organized the walking tour titled “Following the Footsteps of Jews of Wieluń,” but also created a self-guiding app on smartphones, produced a theater performance, and designed scenarios of classes on Jewish Wieluń in Polish, English and German. All the projects created in 2015 demonstrate the impressive efforts of students and very interesting approach to the Polish/Jewish history.
This year’s Gala also commemorated the events of March 1968, when anti-Semitic campaign in Poland led to the exile of many Polish Jews. Henryk Wujec, Chairman of the Forum’s Board of Trustees, referred to these events in his speech: This memory must be kept alive. Such situation cannot happen again in Poland and you are the hope that Poland will never live it again.”
The ceremony was also honored by the presence of distinguished guests, such as: Ombudsman for Children Marek Michalak, Canadian Ambassador to Poland Stephen de Boer, Australian Ambassador to Poland Paul Wojciechowski, Sylwia Spurek, Deputy Ombudsman of Poland, Włodzimierz Paszyński, Vice-president of Warsaw, Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, Stas Wojciechowicz, Rabbi at the Center for Progressive Judaism and Synagogue Ec Chaim, as well as the representatives of the Polish Society of the Righteous Among the Nations – Anna Stupnicka-Bando, Alicja Schnepf and Józef Walaszczyk.
You overcome stereotypes. (…) It is so very important that you, young people, restore the memory also for your parents who do not remember that time, for your teachers who you inspire to commemorate, to gather information.
– Bogusław Borusewicz, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate
We are especially grateful to Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera and other institutions, which supported the program in 2015 and contributed to the 2015 School of Dialogue Gala:
Citizens for Democracy program, financed through the EEA grants, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Friends of the Forum, City of Warsaw, Agora S.A., Czarne Publishing House, Czarna Owca Publishing House, Filo Publishing House, Grycan Lody od Pokoleń, Iskry Publishing House, Jan Karski Educational Foundation, Kultura Gniewu Publishing House, Literatura Publishing House, Mag Publishing House, Media Rodzina Publishing House, NVS Group Sp. Z o.o., POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Polish Center for Holocaust Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prószyński i S-ka Publishing House, REBIS Publishing House, RUCH S.A. , Świat Książki Publishing House, W.A.B Publishing House, Znak Publishing House