Mifgashim be Polin
Mifgashim be Polin is an educational project dedicated both for people of Jewish heritage visiting Poland as well as people interested in Jewish culture and history. It’s aim is broadening the perspective of perceiving the Jewish community in Poland for more than just Holocaust , and teaching about the Jewish heritage in Poland.
“Since thousands of years Jews were one of the key elements of Polish life. From the very beginnings of history of Poland Jewish presence was visible and made an impact on the society. We meet the Jewish people as the first narrators about beginnings of creating the Polish state, they made the coins of first Piast dynasty, making their presence more clear with every passing century. For 1000 years they were part of Polish reality. They were perceived by others in various ways : mostly less friendly than friendly, often hostile and condemning. Yet still, they were a part of Polish life, they made their presence visible, shaping it” ? Aleksander Hertz writes in his monograph “Żydzi w kulturze polskiej”.
1000 years of Jewish heritage was overshadowed by traumatic events of IIWorld War. Memory about Polish Jews is currently mostly mere marks ? cemeteries, abandoned synagogues, marks from mezuzah in the doorframes.
Testimony of the Jewish history in Poland is not full without mentioning this huge heritage before the tragic events of Shoah. History of Polish-Jewish relations is not true, if we narrow it to the years of way; it will be harmful to Poles as well as to Jews. Most of all, it will prevent us from understanding in which moment of history are modern Jews in Poland, as well as those, whose ancestors are coming from this country. It is understandable, that the image of Poland which was passed from generations of war survivors to their children and grandchildren is burdened with the most tragic experience.
Therefore, it is most important that Jews from diaspora could touch the marks of their history and not only give their honors for the memory of their beloved deceased. We want the project “Mifgashim be Polin” to create the space for meeting and exchanging experiences, breaking existing stereotypes and broadening the perspective of perceiving the Jewish community in Poland.
Practical part of project are educational meetings, antidiscrimination workshops and workshops about cultural sensitivity with both individuals, school and students groups from Poland and abroad.
Through meetings, workshops, film screenings, lectures, multimedia presentations and discussions we can engage in conversation with the “Other” on non-formal terms. We do our best to share the history of Jews in Poland, information about the actual situation of Jewish society and exchange the experiences connected to present-day , global dilemmas concerning the identity.
project implemented between 2010 and 2013
Jewish Association Czulent
Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture.