"Those who have not forgotten" - about our activities in the Israeli weekly "Lamishpaha”

On December 9, the Israeli weekly magazine " Lamishpaha " published the article "Those who have not forgotten". Ms Lili Haber, who leads the Jewish community with Krakow roots in Israel, told the author of the article about Polish initiatives and people who care about the memory of their Jewish neighbours. We had the honor of being among the people described. Jolanta Kruszniewska translated the text about Mszana Dolna and our activities from Hebrew. Here is the content:

Mszana Dolna is a small Polish town inhabited by about 7,000 people and not a single Jew. In the interwar period, about 800 Jews lived there and constituted a third of all inhabitants of the town. Mrs. Urszula Antosz-Rekucka, one of the residents of Mszana Dolna, feels responsible for protecting the Jewish heritage that remained in the city, as well as the memory of the ghetto that was created during the war and where the Jews of Mszana and refugees from other areas were located. What made her take this mission? "It started during my theological studies in Krakow. We were studying the Bible and I wanted to name my children Rachel and Jakub. I started to be very interested in Judaism then. And although I am not Jewish, I started attending Judaism classes and getting to know Jewish culture better and better…" Classes on Jewish culture in Poland? Where can you find them? "It may be surprising, but in recent years courses in Jewish studies have been opened at several universities across Poland. And it sounds amazing that apart from Jewish history, literature and culture, there are also Hebrew and Yiddish classes." Antosz-Rekucka says that after graduation she began to learn about the Jews who lived in her hometown - Mszana Dolna, and their stories interested her very much. Anyway, Antosz-Rekucka notes that she is not the only one. "There are many Polish people who care about the memory about their Jewish co-citizens. I know the places where the anniversaries of the extermination of Jews are commemorated every year. Usually it is the day of the liquidation of the ghetto or the mass execution of Jewish residents. And additionally, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th. " According to her, the way of commemorating differs from place to place, but also has common features: a mourning ceremony at a Jewish cemetery or at a monument, including laying flowers, lighting candles and praying together. The event is sometimes accompanied by lectures, workshops or exhibitions about Jews who lived in the city. "Also on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, similar events take place. In recent years, on the initiative of the Jewish Community in Warsaw, a candle is lit in the window of apartments as a sign of remembrance" she adds enthusiastically.

The text also describes the activities of such respected and famous people as Anna Brzyska, Paweł Kulig, Darek Popiela, Adam Bartosz, Janusz Makuch - so we found ourselves in a distinguished company. The article was published in an orthodox magazine - therefore no photos of women were added, hence Ania and Urszula did not appear in the photos. The part describing the Lower Mszana and our activities is marked in blue on the additional slide


Translated by Rachela Antosz-Rekucka