Poles who preserve country’s Jewish heritage awarded

Katarzyna Markusz

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Poles involved in the preserving of Jewish heritage in Poland received awards during two separate ceremonies in Warsaw.

Professor Ewa Geller received the Jan Karski & Pola Nirenska Award during an award ceremony at the Jewish Historical Institute.

Geller teaches at Warsaw University’s Department of Neophilology. She earned a PhD degree in 1988 with her dissertation on Polish and East Slavic influences on the Yiddish on the center of  I. B. Singer’s works. In 2007, Geller was named Associate Professor at Warsaw University. One of her works is a 17th century health vade mecum in Yiddish, which Geller found in Vienna and translated into Polish.

“I have a deep conviction that without Ewa Geller there would be no contemporary Polish Yiddish research and without Yiddish research there would be no dynamic development of Jewish studies in Poland,” Dr. Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov, a member of the jury, said during the ceremony.

Geller dedicated her award to all Polish researchers of Yiddish. “Keep it up!” she said.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews awarded its Polin Awards to local activists. Jacek Koszczan of Dukla, Robert Augustyniak of Grodzisk Mazowiecki, and Miroslaw Skrzypczyk of Lelow were honored. A special award was bestowed on Jan Jagielski from the Jewish Historical Institute.

“The Museum of the History of Polish Jews is an important element and the achievement of our common history,”  Minister of Culture Piotr Glinski said during the ceremony. “All across boundaries, we are proud that we have such an institution that promotes important values and norms.”

The award ceremony in the museum was also the beginning of the three-day “Made in Polin” Festival, organized by the museum. During the festival, residents of Warsaw and tourists could visit exhibitions, participate in workshops, cooking demonstrations, and meet the artists and writers involved in promoting Jewish culture.

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