Institutions related to Chopin Institutions related to Chopin

The Society of Polish- Israeli Friendship

The Society of Polish- Israeli Friendship

The Society of Polish- Israeli Friendship officially came into being eleven years ago. In Warsaw, during the first meeting of the legal organization 500 people met.

Today the Society has thousends of members, only in Warsaw there are over 800. The idea of founding the organization arose much, much earlier. It was in 1962 when a great philisopher Tadeusz Kotarbiński, an outstanding poet Antoni Słoniski, a well-know historian Władysław Bartoszewski (present president of the Society) and cultural counsellor of The Israeli Embassy in Poland Menachem Sharon met in a private apartment in Saska Kępa. It was impossible to organize a legally functioning Society. Nevertheless the leading Polish intellectuals were still meeting. The "clandestine" organization ceased to exist with the outbreak of the 6-day war of 1967.

Here is an extract from a declaration of TPPI set up in 1989: "the participation in the works and activities of the Society is not only of formal but above all of moral character, as it is an act of solidarity with the Jewish community living both in the Diaspora and in the state of Isreal which before the world represents the majority of contemporary Jews."

The activity of the Society has been and still will be for a long time connected with unforgettable, terrible or just negative experiences in relationship between the two nations. Patient explanation, talks, discussions and finally help in reaching the historical sources are the most important fields of the Society's activity.

There is a great interest in successive editions of national competition for magister and doctoral thesis on Polish-Jewish and Isreali issues. Educational function of the Society consists not only in exhibitions, meetings with experts in Jewish culture and history from Poland and from Israel but first of all in organizing meetings with the Polish and Israeli youth. They generally take place in Warsaw schools which are open not only to talks, discussions but also to common entertainment.

Finally, it is worth to quote the wise words of Miriam Akavii, a writer and the president of sister Society of Jewish-Polish Friendship. The reflection concerns people from there, but perhaps also from here.

"We try to change the history of our life with our Polish roots into something positive. We try to pull down the walls of strangeness because we know from our own experience that from strangeness hatred arises. We are united by the faith in people of good will and the faith in friendship.We are united by the admiration for Polish art and literature, the memories of childhood and our young years. And finally we are united by our longing for a better world. For a world in which people will better understand and respect one another."


 

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