The Foundation joined its partners in the EU-funded Moreshet – the network of Jewish heritage towns, for a second seminar hosted by the city of Wroclaw.
The seminar’s theme addressed Jewish heritage and local community engagement and we had a range of speakers who addressed this topic and the challenges of reaching out and involving local communities in understanding, appreciating and celebrating Jewish heritage as also shared heritage. Various innovative educational approaches were highlighted along with several case studies which focused on projects in the towns of Namyslow, Zagorow and Winsko.
One fascinating aspect of the event was the particular location of Wroclaw, which had been German Breslau before the second world war. Essentially no one in the current population had family links to the region prior to 1945, and that was also reflected in the make-up of the Jewish community today, heirs to a special Jewish heritage that reflected a German Jewish cultural flowering now long vanished. One remnant of this world was the remarkable Jewish cemetery which the seminar participants visited – on a vintage city tram! Learning about a number of the pre-war families provided a special insight into this once dynamic community.
The seminar location was the impressive White Stork Synagogue which in itself reflected the possibilities and challenges of transforming Jewish heritage into a community facility serving both Jewish purposes in providing a synagogue and Jewish community hub, and also being an important cultural venue for the wider city. One special session was with Rabbi and Rebbetzin Basok who spoke about their work in the city.