Embassy Supports International Conference on Polish-Jewish Heritage and Challenges of Memory and Education

Counselor for Public Affairs Frank Finver addresses 300 Polish teachers and educators at the opening of the conference. (photo: M.Jaźwiecki /POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews)

On November 14 at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Counselor for Public Affairs Frank Finver addressed 300 Polish teachers and educators at the opening of the international conference “Polish-Jewish Heritage of the Republic of Poland: Challenges of Memory and Education” organized by the POLIN Museum and co-sponsored by the U.S. Embassy.  In his opening remarks, Frank Finver saluted the teachers participating in the conference, telling them that: “You are the world-changers on the front lines; you are the people who educate future generations and influence attitudes when it comes to studying, discussing, and remembering the Holocaust.”  He also noted highlighted that  “We all must learn the difficult lessons of the past and emphasize to our children that hate and discrimination is unacceptable and comes back to haunt those who practice it.”  Officials attending the opening of the conference included POLIN’s acting Director Zygmunt Stępiński, Secretary of State Jarosław Sellin of Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and Professor Antony Polonsky from Brandeis University (Chief Historian at the POLIN Museum).  While co-sponsored by POLIN and the U.S. Embassy, the conference also benefited from the support of the Forum for Dialogue, the Department of Jewish Studies at the University of Wroclaw, the Warsaw Centre for Socio-Educational Innovation and Training, and the New York-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.  This was the third conference organized by POLIN with the support of the U.S. Embassy that focuses on supporting educators from all over Poland who teach about the Holocaust.  This cooperation also includes annual collaboration between POLIN and the U.S. Embassy in the selection and sending of Polish educators to attend teacher training on the Holocaust in the United States, with over 90 teachers already having taken part in the teaching exchange to date.