Beit Polska’s multi faceted vision for the renewal of Progressive Polish Jewish life is supported by Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland (501 3c) and the European/World Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ/ WUPJ). In addition we seek your vital support–through your foundation, through family celebrations and memorials, and through your personal gifts.
Click here to see the ‘omnibus’ projects; we seek your partnership and collaboration.Your interest is key to redeveloping Jewish life in Poland. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and blogs, PolishJewsReviving.org and RabbiBeliakBlog.org, and help us create the miracle.
This program calls for 20 high school student-emissaries (5 American Jewish/Baltimore, 5 Jewish Poles, 5 non-Jewish Poles, and 5 Israeli Jewish) to share learning and experiential activities in Poland and Israel. All twenty young people will come together first in Poland and then in Israel after an intensive pre-trip training.
Participants will address four historical periods of Poland’s rich history a) pre-Holocaust experience, b) Holocaust c) post-Holocaust and 4) the emergence of a post-Communist dominated Jewish and non-Jewish history. In a new global context, the group will meet first in Poland, where they will seek to develop common understandings through dialogue and community action in Poland; and then come to Israel, for additional peer-to-peer hands-on activity and friendship; project graduates will use social media to communicate prior to meetings in Poland and Israel and following the travel experiences, they will teach peers in their home communities. After the experiences in Poland and Israel, each group will lead follow-on peer-to-peer American-PolishIsraeli student groups.
- Address and overcome the antipathy of American Jews to post-Holocaust Poland and Polish non-Jews
- Aid participants to realize their shared pre- and post-Holocaust history
- Develop peer high school relationships between American-Polish-Israeli high school
- Create informed leaders in the community who understand the issues and can
communicate with each other and reach out to their community and beyond their
- Use young people’s “natural” talents for interaction through social media.
- Develop potential to fund raise for the project using the social media “follow”
- Travel objectives of this project include home hospitality in Poland and Israel, to promote
family ties across the spectrum, and to involve parents—who become spokespeople for the
project, and aid to minimize project costs.
- American students from Baltimore (5) and Israeli students (5) travel to Poland for peer-topeer experience and joint learning (5 Jewish, 5 non-Jewish high school students); then the American-Polish-Israeli group (20) travels to Israel for peer-to-peer experience and learning. After incorporating the Israeli high school students in Poland with their American and Polish peers, they will all travel to Israel, where they will focus further on mutual engagement.
- Eventually, Polish students will be invited to come to Baltimore for an experience whether it is at one of our Jewish camps or to continue training. Baltimore will have a direct impact on 20 young people for at least two years. Some students will be eligible to become summer camp aides.
- Project participants spread their experience over social media, and we measure how many new applicants request participation in subsequent projects.
- Use project experience and social media to attract additional sources of funding (foundations, individuals, corporate donations) to repeat and expand the project.
- An offer by an noted documentary film maker from Dallas Texas, who completed two films dealing with Poland and families in search of their roots; expressed interest in accompanying the group to produce a documentary.
- Commitment by University of Warsaw sociology researcher to include results of the experience in doctoral dissertation on this area of endeavor.
Evaluation Methods and Anticipated Outcomes
Describe the indicators of success and how they will be measured.
- Number of applications received for next program
- Every 3 months: Previous participants prepare online reports/blogs on their ideas regarding reconciliation and their developing relationships peers from the trip
- Develop social science directed questionnaires and interviews for qualitative research
- On – going discussion among stake holders regarding feedback
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