|Award ceremony at Galicia Jewish Museum. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber|
By Ruth Ellen Gruber
Michael Traison writes in Ha'aretz on the wonderful and important initiative he founded in 1998 -- the presentation of awards by the Israeli embassy to non-Jewish Poles who preserve Jewish heritage and culture. This year, in addition to the usual ceremony in Krakow at the Festival of Jewish Culture, there will be a ceremony in Warsaw. I have posted about this ceremony and the people involved in the past, including HERE.
Traison calls the honorees "Polish heroes."
That such acknowledgment comes from the Embassy of the Jewish state and is presented personally by its ambassador, is particularly meaningful and important. The ceremonies are followed by a luncheon which is co-sponsored through the generosity of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, an organization responsible for the reclamation and preservation of much of the Jewish heritage sites in Poland, as well as programs of education and information promoting better understanding between Poles and Jews.
Year after year, the program has depended upon the genius and charm of one of Poland's leading historians, Jan Jagielski of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
Jagielski reviews all nominations of individuals and projects to be awarded diplomas and contributes one of the most critical parts of the extended ceremony preparations.
But he is in good company, working among many others who support the ceremonies and the honor luncheon, including the Galicja Museum in Krakow, where the ceremonies have been held in recent years; Krakow's Eden Hotel, which has assisted with logistics and catering, and the JCC of Krakow which, over the last few years, has generously provides a venue for the luncheon.
As the initiator and founder of this program, I feel the most important individuals responsible for these ceremonies are, of course, the honorees themselves whose work gives us inspiration and enables us to tell the true story of the modern Republic of Poland, its people and the nature of its society.
See full article HERE