| 2009 |
Henryk Sienkiewicz High School
A month before the workshops of the School of Dialogue started, Mr. Czesław Pardela confirmed that the scroll found on the premises of the school was indeed a Torah from the synagogue destroyed by the Germans in 1940. In the seventies the then vice-principal of the school, Zenon Suchorski, found a Torah scroll between a ceiling beam and a roof tile. The Book was then placed in the back room of the school’s Hall of Traditions. Currently, it is kept at the Jewish Community of Poznań.
During the School of Dialogue workshops, high school students from Września had the opportunity to learn how significant the Sacred Book found in the school’s attic is to Jews.
They also learned about the Jewish religion and culture, as well as the history of the Jews from Września who in the 19th century constituted the majority of the town inhabitants. In order to carry out an independent project commemorating the Jews of Września, the students were divided into smaller groups. Each group was responsible for a different task. Karolina, Patryk, Andrzej and Mateusz interviewed Mr. Leopold Kostrzewski, a regional history enthusiast, while Sandra, Nina and Julia visited Mr. Czesław Pardela with whom they discussed the Torah found in Września and the condition in which it had survived till the present day.
“These damages prove that the Torahs were equally persecuted as the Jewish people. They were tracked, chased and destroyed by the Nazi perpetrators as was every Jewish person in the times of war.”, Mr. Pardela said. Mateusz, Hubert and Łukasz talked to Mr. Bolesław Święciochowski, a historian from Września. The other six students renovated the memorial commemorating Poles and Jews who lost their lives during the Word War 2.
After a month of preparations, students organized a “Walk around Września through the traces of history”. During a meeting at the Museum of Regional History, they shared the knowledge acquired in the course of the past weeks. They talked about Jews who had settled in Września since the 16th century. They discussed The Men’s Society and the Jewish History and Literature Society.
They talked about Jewish taverns, merchants and tailor’s shops; Jewish schools and the numerus clausus principle. About the first wooden synagogue, and the brick one as well. They explained how the Germans devastated the building in the beginning of the war and set up a prison in its premises, and finally blew the building up in 1940. A green area and an air-raid shelter were created in its place. They talked about the cemetery from which only few fragments of matzevot survived and are now kept at the Museum of Children of Września. They concluded that the synagogue is now commemorated with a memorial in the shape of two plaques joined by an outline of a synagogue, while they are the ones commemorating the Jews of Września.
Henryk Sienkiewicz High School
Honorable Mention at 2009 School of Dialogue Gala
1st year students
Małgorzata Kosiarek, Magdalena Maślak
Program co-financed from the funds granted by The Rothschild Foundation Europe.
In appreciation to Friends of the Forum for supporting the School of Dialogue educational program.