“We Are One”, 2009 - 2012
The main event took place in Poland from November 3-8, 2009. During these 5 days, 24 participants from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Ukraine met with their Polish peers. The students learned about the regional Jewish history of Nowy Sacz, Krakow and Oswiecim. They had a unique chance to see how their peers faced the task of exploring this long forgotten part of the common Central European legacy and how they managed to present the information and data to their friends from abroad. More information about our activities can be found on www.weareone.org.pl.
In 2010, each country invited 5 participants of the other countries to come and look at the traces of Jewish history and tradition that they have found. During these visits, participants from the other countries were able to see how the history of the host countries, that seemed to be so different (and boring) during the school-lessons, is actually very similar. History is not dividing us, but rather bringing us together! An important element was that the visiting participants were hosted in the families of the local participant, so they could experience once again that we should not be divided by language or political borders. These international visits took place in Budapest (March 2010), Olomouc and Prague (April 2010), Detva (September 2010) and Kharkov (October 2010).
In addition to these study-visits, several different activities were organized in each country. We had exhibitions (e.g. ”Jehudim - Jarosławskie Dzieci Abrahama”, November 4-15, Jaroslaw, Poland; “Ocalmy od zapomnienia – The Jewish Cemetery of Nowy Sacz”, March 19-31, 2010, Nowy Sacz, Poland and October 7- 31, Kharkov, Ukraine), conferences (e.g. “Maryan – Painter of the Dark Side of Human Nature”, September 20, 2010 in the Gallery of the “Former Synagogue” of the Regional Museum of Nowy Sacz, Poland); produced documentary films (e.g. “Jewish addresses in Kharkov”; “We Are One in Detva” and “Oshpitsin. Save from Oblivion"), had a theatre-play in remembrance of the victims of the Second World War, May 13, 2010, Kharkov, Ukraine; produced an internet quiz for youngsters and lots and lots more. Complete information about all activities done within the project can be found on the website www.weareone.org.pl. “We Are One” isalso on Facebook!
At the end of 2010 preparations for the publication that will be the final effect of our project began. For this purpose a group of authors, consisting of 10 young participants in the project, met in 2011 during two 5-day workshops. The main goal of this publication is to show that the different countries have so much in common, especially when it comes to Jewish history, that there is no place for any discrimination or intolerance amongst us.
In 2012 the complete results of the earlier years will be presented during so called “WeAreOne-days” in each country. During these “days”, visitors will reflect upon the experiences the participants of the five countries shared earlier with one another. There will be exhibitions, documentary films, guided city-tours, presentations, as well as a poetry-performance and theatre-performances. We shall prove that our recent history does not divide people, but rather brings them together.
We wish to thank our partners in the participating countries for their engagement in this project: the Gymnasium in Detva, the Kurt and Ursula Schubert Institute of Jewish Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of the Palacky-University in Olomouc, the Zachor Foundation for Social Remembrance in Budapest and The International Solomon University Eastern Ukrainian Branch in Kharkov.
We are very grateful for the institutions and foundations who made this project possible: the Dutch Jewish Humanitarian Fund, Soros Foundation, Batory Foundation, International Visegrad Fund and the European Commission (Europe for Citizens Programme).
"This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein."
“I Bet I Can Show You”, 2007
For many centuries the Roman Catholic Church has treated Jews as their number one enemy. Based on religious beliefs, Jews were excluded from social life, persecuted and even murdered. This was done as punishment for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. After Vatican II, mainly thanks to the firm convictions of Pope John Paul II, this line of thinking was radically altered. Consider, for example, his symbolic homily before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
“Listen and Remember”, 2008
The aim of this project was to diminish discrimination against Jewish people (anti-Semitism still exists in the Polish society), by changing the behavior of a large group of inhabitants from Malopolska. This was accomplished by raising their awareness of Jewish history, tradition and culture, especially in 20th century Poland, by broadcastings, exhibitions, theatre-plays and newspaper articles, prepared by a group of 60 youngsters, who also participated in the previous project “I Bet I Can Show You”.