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Latest News

  • Agreement Signed for Jewish History Research Prize at Częstochowa's University
         29th October 2018

  •    For the next four years, the Jan Długosz University of Częstochowa will award a prize for the best piece of new research into the history of the Jewish community of Częstochowa and the surrounding area.
    In the presence of the university's Rector Prof.Dr.hab.Anna Wypych-Gawroñska and history professors Prof.Dr.hab.Jerzy Mizgalski and Prof.Dr.hab.Janusz Spyra, an agreement was signed between the University and Andrew Rajcher, who is funding the award in memory of his late parents Wolf and Dora Rajcher.
       The award, to be known as
    "The Wolf & Dora Rajcher Memorial
    Academic Prize"

    will be open to all present and past students
    of the University, as well as to University staff.
    The winner, each year, will be judged by a jury of specialist professors

  • Częstochowa Marks 76th Anniversary of Ghetto Liquidation
         22nd September 2018
         (Story: Alon Goldman, Photos: Asia Sidorowicz, Krzystof Straus, Marcin Szpadrowski)

  •    In a ceremony held at the Umschlagplatz monument, Częstochowa remembered its Jewish citizens, victims of the Holocaust, by commemorating the 76th anniversary of the liquidation of the Częstochowa ghetto. The monument site is from where, between 22nd September and 7th October 1942, six train transports departed for Treblinka, carrying around 40,000 Jews to their deaths.
    Częstochowa Deputy Mayor, Dr. Ryszard Stefaniak, opened the ceremony, which was attended by around one hundred of the city's, as well as guests from the United States and Israel.
    World Society President, Sigmund Rolat, welcomed all to what is an important commemoration, World Society Vice-President, Alon Goldman, in his address, listed the numerous achievements accomplished in preserving the city's Jewish heritage, undertaken in recent years in cooperation with the municipal authorities. These included the erection of the monument in front of which he was standing and the establishment of the Jewish Museum of Częstochowa. He acknowledged Sigmund Rolat's great contribution to these project.
    Alon stressed that the preservation of the Jewish cemetery, which is largely still being neglected, is a project that must be completed in partnership with other individuals and organizations.

    Alongside the city's Honour Guard, students from the Malczewski and Słowacki High Schools contributed to the ceremony with poetry reading and a song. A very emotional moment came when Ofri Ben Shitrit, granddaughter of survivor Giza Segal, came from Israel to attend the ceremony and performed the Hebrew song Shir HaMa'alot, while her grandmother Giza watched it live on video in Ramat Gan.

    Kaddish was recited by Alon Goldman in memory of the 40,000 victims. Several wreathes were then laid by representatives of the city and by private individuals. Othen then paid their own private tribute at the monument.

    On the following day, visiting dignitaries, guests from abroad and locals visited the Częstochowa TSKŻ
    to view the "Jews in the Polish Army" Exhibition". (See previous news item for more details.)

  • "Jews in the Polish Army" Exhibition at the Częstochowa TSKŻ
         15th September 2018

  •    The Częstochowa TSKŻ (Social-Cultural Association of Jews) was the venue for the opening of the "Jews in the Polish Army" exhibition, in the presence of Częstochowa Deputy Mayor Ryszard Stefaniak and Częstochowa Museum Director Tadeusz Piersiak.
    The exhibition was created through the efforts of the HADAR Committee, together with the Polish Military Centre for Civic Education, the Polish Army Museum, the Katyń Museum, the Jewish Historical Institute and the TSKŻ in Poland. It has already been displayed in other Polish cities and abroad.
    The exhibition consists of eighteen panels telling the stories of Jewish soldiers in the Polish Army who fought in Polish uprisings and battles during the 19th and 20th centuries. As well as presenting the Jewish resistance movements and the story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, it tells how Jews fought for Poland's freedom and independence.

    The exhibition was brought to Częstochowa thanks to the efforts of
    Częstochowa TSKŻ Chair, Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska and Deputy-Chair Ryszard Welgryn.

  • World Society Vice-President Alon Goldman Co-ordinates Major Cemetery Clean-Up
         June 2018
         (Source: Alon Goldman)

  •    After many years of neglect, a major step has been taken to clean-ep Częstochowa's Jewish Cemetery. It was a complex task, laden with serious concerns but, in the end, it was made possible thanks to the determination, perseverance, a great deal of goodwill and the great help of the good people who volunteered for the task.
    Due to the size of the cemetery (the third largest Jewish cemetery in Poland), it became clear that it would not be possible to deal with the entire area at one time, so that two plots were chosen to begin the work - one, to the left of the main path, on either side of the mass graves, the other, at the top and on the right sidee of the cemetery, past the mass grave of the ŻOB fighters. As with the rest of the cemetery, these two areas were overtaken by dense ground vegetation and a large number of trees which, over the years, had fallen due to the weather.

    Cutting the trees would not have been possible without the help of skilled professionals. With great effort, dozens of fallen tree trunks were cut into pieces small enough to be moved, by volunteers, to the main path from where they could be removed from the cemetery. The logs and vegetation cleared off graves were shredded into wood chips, which we then scattered on the ground throughout the cleared area in order to delay the re-growth of wild vegetation.

    This work could not have happened without the good people who enlisted for this mission. World Society Vice-President, Alon Goldman, expressed his thanks Pastor Steven D. Reece, Director of the American Matzevah Foundation, and to Prszemek Panasiuk, Director of its activities in Poland. He also thanks the excellent professionals who joined this mission, who arrived well-equipped and who were knowledgeable and skillful.

    Volunteers from the Fundacja Chrześcijańska Adullam (pics above) also joined in the work. This is an association of hardworking people living in, what was, the Jewish Ghetto area of Częstochowa, Under the leadership of Robert Kamela, they dragged and removed heavy trunks, cleared branches, trimmed vegetation, operated scythes, and did whatever was asked of them. We thank them so much and also thank Mrs. Elżbieta Ferenc, Director of the Fundacja, for your friendship and cooperation.

    Over 200 volunteers - Częstochowa residents, graduates and students of elementary and high schools - came to work in the cemetery. Special thanks go to the dozens of Częstochowa students from the Słowackie, Biegański, Kopernicus, Gastronomic and Technicom high schools, as well as to students of the Kamieńskie Młynyl elementary school, all of whom arrived each morning, motivated to learn and to help. Alon Goldman praised them all for their involvement and goodwill.
    The World Society Vice-President also thanked Częstochowa Mayor, Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, and the few, but generous, Landsleit in Israel and all over the world, without whose support and generous contributions it would not be possible to bring this week of work to completion.
    Click HERE to see how local channel TV ORION covered the clean-up!

  • Israeli Częstochowa Landsleit Memorial Evening
         10th December 2017
         (Source: Alon Goldman)


    Around 100 First and Second Generation landsleit attended the 2017 Annual Commemoration of Częstochowa Jews conducted by the Israeli Częstochowa Jews Association. The event was held at Wolyn House, Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies in Israel.
    This year's commemoration marked the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the "Big Ghetto" in Częstochowa, when some 40,000 Jews were packed into six cattle trains to be transported to their deaths. The trains left Częstochowa for Treblinka between 22nd September and 7th October 1942.

    The MC for the event was Modi Givon. Kaddish was recited by First Generation Eliezer Kirshenbaum (Lolek), while El Male Rachamim and Tehilim were recited by Second Generation Cantor Yossi Greenfeld.
    Association Chairman and World Society Vice-President, Alon Goldman (pic left), told the audience of the past year's activities aimed at preserving Częstochowa Jewish heritage.
    The Memorial evening concluded with a screening of the film "Luck and Good People" which recounts the wartime journey of Holocaust survivor Irena Talmon (née Bogayer). This impossible journey began in Częstochowa, Irena's birthplace, moved to Lwów, returned to the Częstochowa Ghetto and then, from there, to Warsaw. The film also depicts the work of three brave Polish women who risked their lives in order to save the Bogajer family and who were honoured by Yad Vashem with the title of "Righteous Among the Nations"

  • Our World Society Wins Cultural Patron Award
         26th August 2017
         (Story courtesy Janusz Jadczyk, pics courtesy Leszek Pilichowski)

  •    Each year, on the 26th August city holiday, the opportunity is taken to recognise those whose activities have made a significant impact in enriching the cultural potential of Częstochowa, and who have contributed to the city's positive image.
    In 2017 the "Patron of Culture" award has been conferred upon us
    - the World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants.

    The award was presented to our President, Sigmund Rolat, by Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk and City Council Chairman Zdzisław Wolski. Our World Society was nominated for the award by the Częstochowa Municipal Museum, with the support of the Bronisław Huberman Częstochowa Philharmonic.
    In accepting the award, Sigmund Rolat was acknowledged as a friend and Honorary Citizen of Częstochowa who, through the World Society, had supported, organisationally and financially, cultural events in the city, thereby raising the artistic value of these projects and events.

    As well as the World Society, six other organisations and companies had been nominated for the 2017 award.

  • Częstochowa Remembers Our Dear Halina Wasilewicz z"l
         25th May 2017
         (Pics courtesy Piotr Kowalik)

  •    The new Jewish Museum of Częstochowa was the venue for an event dedicated to remembering and celebrating the life of long-time Chairperson of the Częstochowa branch of the TSKŻ, Halina Wasilewicz z"l.
    Under the patronage of Częstochowa Mayor Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk and Chairman of TSKŻ Poland Artur Hofman, the event entitled "Chaya Ita Yiddishe Mama" was MC'ed by Halina's long-time friend Tadeusz Piersiak, Director of the "Gaude Mater" cultural centre.
    The program included a screening of a film about Halina, the unveiling of a portrait of Halina painted by Alicja Desperak of the Jacek Malczewski Graphic Arts High School, a recital by the group "Give Me Sound" and time for several people to reminisce about their memories of our wonderful Halina. Following the formal part of the programme, attendees were able to visit the exhibition surrounding them, "The Jews of Częstochowa".

    The event, attended by Halina's son, Kuba Wasilewicz, was organised by Krzysztof Jonasz Fydryszek
    and his Częstochowa TSKŻ committee, with the support of the AJDC (Joint), Grzegorz Meisel
    Sweets Manufacturer, Gazeta Wyborcza and the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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