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2013-01-10

School of Dialogue Gala

On January 9th, 2013, the School of Dialogue Gala was staged at the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) in Warsaw. School of Dialogue is an educational programme run by the Forum for the Dialogue Among Nations Foundation to disseminate in schools knowledge about the centuries-long existence of Jews in Poland and their contribution to social, cultural and economic development. Young participants learn the history of their hometowns, often discovering gaps about former Jewish communities who lived there. Thanks to their own work, supported by Forum trainers, they explore history on their own, combining their discoveries with preserved material traces. Each year, a few dozen schools throughout Poland take part in the project.

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As part of the last edition of the programme, diverse and often even extraordinary activities were launched. For instance, on one of the market days in Nisko a happening was organized at the market square, after which the locals were invited to join a walking tour on the trail of local Jews. A similar trip was held in Pilzno, where students commemorated Mechel Cwajg, a boy who left behind a collection of drawings dated 1938. In Ulanow, an audio guide to Jewish monuments was created. Additionally, a number of trips were organized in Piotrków Trybunalski. Young people from Konin took part in a location-based game, discovering the Jewish past of their city. Young Łomża citizens invited the Margolis family, whose ascendants had roots in the town. Students from Falenica mounted a photo exhibition in the town hall, while project participants in Mrągowo approached city authorities regarding the commemoration of the local Jewish cemetery.

The main prizes went to Jan Kochanowski Junior High School No 5 in Konin and Żołnierzy Obwodu Łomżyńskiego Comprehensive Senior High School No 3 in Łomża. Honourable mentions, finalist titles and ‘School of Dialogue’ titles were awarded to the Regional Centre for Vocational Education in Nisko, Jan Paweł II Public Junior High School in Ulanów and the Junior High School No 134 in the Youth Educational Centre no 4 in Warsaw.

Additionally, the jury panel decided to present ‘School of Dialogue’ finalist certificates to the following schools: Kazimierz Wielki Comprehensive Senior High School No 1 in Bochnia, the Public Junior High in Chotyłów, the Public Junior High No 1 in Frysztak, Stanisław Staszic School Complex in Małkinia Górna, Maria Dąbrowska Comprehensive Senior High School in Pionki, Arts and Crafts Vocational School in Pilzno and the Jan Paweł II Economic School Complex in Złotów.

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