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Forum for Dialogue

Location: Poland


In 2023, the Commission established a partnership with Forum for Dialogue, the oldest and largest Polish non-governmental organization engaged in Polish–Jewish dialogue. (Read more about Forum for Dialogue here)

Established in 1998, the Forum is shaping a new chapter of Polish–Jewish relations by supporting and growing a network of activists working in their communities to revive the memory of Jewish history and heritage in Poland. Bridging past and present, the Forum helps restore old and build new connections between Poland and descendants of Polish Jews. Underpinning its philosophy is the core belief that remembrance must happen on two levels: physical commemorations, such as those in which the Commission has traditionally specialized, and meaningful dialogue through people-to-people connections. We are committed to this approach and invite you to join our collective effort in supporting the growth and development of Forum’s network.

The network connects and supports a diverse community of non-Jewish Polish activists devoted to preserving, documenting and educating their communities about their towns’ rich Jewish history. The activists also reach out to descendants of Polish Jews around the world to bridge the gap created by decades of separation. With over 110 members and 80 more poised to join, the Forum for Dialogue network includes teachers, historians, curators and local government representatives. All share a common goal: restoring Jewish heritage in Poland and fostering meaningful Polish–Jewish relations. To empower their work, the Forum provides grants and scholarship opportunities, training sessions and workshops, as well as an annual national conference.

The Commission amplified the network’s impact through a $20,000 pilot grant program in 2023 that enhanced funding opportunities available to members, specifically targeting their efforts in preserving Jewish material heritage in Poland. The pilot program encompassed acts of commemoration and establishment of permanent memorials, as well as training in grant application writing, and soft skills development workshops. This allowed more comprehensive and meaningful support to be extended to a broader segment of the network.

Building upon this success, the Commission renewed our partnership in 2024, with a target of raising $50,000 to support the Forum’s initiative, the goal of which is to give activists, the critical custodians of local Jewish heritage, increased resources and autonomy in carrying out their work.

To learn more, watch Commission Chair Jones’s interview with George Elbaum, 84, a Holocaust survivor who came to the U.S. in 1949 and became a successful aerospace engineer and prominent speaker, author and philanthropist, deeply involved with the Forum.

Below are additional short videos produced by the Forum illustrating activists’ work across Poland: 

  1. Meet an Activist: Anna Włodek
  2. Meet an Activist: Katarzyna Łaziuk
  3. Meet an Activist: Marek Chmielewski

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Charitable contributions to USCPAHA are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by USCPAHA

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