Project Lead: USCPAHA Commission Members
In 2023, the Commission was delighted to start a cooperation with Forum for Dialogue, the oldest and largest Polish non-governmental organization engaged in Polish/Jewish dialogue (read more here: www.dialog.org.pl/en).
Established in 1998 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Forum is dedicated to shaping a new chapter of Polish/Jewish relations by supporting and growing a network of activists working in their communities to bring back the memory of Jewish history and heritage in Poland. Forum also helps restore old and build new connections between Poland and descendants of Polish Jews. Forum’s philosophy is based on the premise that the work of memory must happen on at least two levels: physical commemorations such as those in which the Commission has traditionally specialized, and meaningful dialogue through people-to-people connections. We believe in this strategy. That is why we are inviting you to join our effort to support the growth and development of the Forum network.
The Forum for Dialogue network connects and supports non-Jewish Polish activists who preserve, document, and educate about their town’s Jewish past. Importantly, these activists also reach out to descendants of Jews from Poland living in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world to bridge the gap that decades of neglect and absence have created. With over 110 members and 80 more people shortlisted to join it in the coming years, the Forum for Dialogue network includes activists, teachers, historians, curators, local government representatives, and other individuals dedicated to restoring Jewish heritage in Poland and building Polish/Jewish relations. Forum offers them grants and scholarship opportunities, training sessions and workshops, as well as an annual national conference.
The Commission wants to multiply the effect of the support offered within the Forum for Dialogue network through a pilot grant to increase the funding opportunities offered by the Forum. It is intended for the grants and scholarships program addressed to network members supporting their activities aimed at preserving the material heritage of Jews in Poland, including acts of commemoration and creation of permanent memorials, as well as the accompanying application writing and soft skills trainings and workshops.
The Commission’s involvement enables more meaningful support to a greater number of network members, the true guardians of local Jewish memory in Poland.
To learn more, watch Commission Chair Star Jones interview Holocaust Survivor George Elbaum. Elbaum, 84, emigrated to the U.S. in 1949 and became a successful aerospace engineer. Long reluctant to speak about his past, he has in recent years become a major speaker, author and philanthropist, deeply involved with Forum for Dialogue’s activities.
Charitable contributions to USCPAHA are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.