Mezuzah – the promotion of the remains of Tarnów shtetl

The Committee for Protection of Jewish Culture is currently fulfilling the project called Mezuzah, which has conducted nearly four decades of operations to restore the memory of the Jews of Tarnów. After years of repression of the memory of the Jewish presence in the landscape of the city, it began to slowly restore its remembrance. These activities are intensively conducted since the early 90s. In Kraj publishing, in 1992, an elaboration Tarnowskie Judaica was published in a few thousand of copies, while the local branch of PTTK issued a brochure guide to Jewish trail around Tarnów (1992) in English-language (1993), as well as English-language pamphlet The Jews in Tarnów region (1993). An extensive guide to the Jewish trail around Tarnów later lived to see a three-language issue (Polish, English, Hebrew) and a colourful art binding (ed. I 2000, ed. II 2002 ed. III 2007). Based on the text of this guide, in 2005, Town authorities affixed the described trail using information signs in Polish, English, and German.

Established contacts with Tarnów Jews in Israel and other countries, as well as with Jewish organizations, including tourist agencies have resulted in an increased tourist traffic of Jewish groups in Tarnów. Since the second half of the 90s, tours of Israeli youth, which more frequently involved the Tarnów program, were exploring a previously developed scheme (Warsaw – Majdanek – Krakow – Oswiecim), and the sightseeing made use of the guide issued by the Museum. An important role in the popularisation of Tarnów among the organizers of these trips plays the ambassador David Mordechai Palzur, who was born in Tarnow (as Marceli Plutzer), appointed to the post as the first after the resumption of Polish relations with Israel, in Warsaw (1986). Successive ambassadors have taken over his interest in Tarnów, which has been of great importance for the promotion of the town among Israelis. And with the initiative of the Museum/Committee Ambassador Palzur received in 2003 the title of Tarnoviae Merentis awarded by the Foundation of the Jan Tarnowski to Tarnów prominent residents for promoting the town abroad. Of the three aforementioned monuments associated with the presence of Jews in Tarnów (cemetery, bima, steam/mikvah) in a particular way the memory, promoting of two was managed to be restored: the cemetery and the bimah. The cemetery has become the primary place of particular care. Regardless of the sources of the funds the Comitee coordinates and oversees all work for the renovation and maintenance. Today, it is almost completely the area ordered in terms of green area. Since 2005, under an agreement with the local Department of Criminal sentenced are employed at the current streamlining work here from May to December. In 2005, the guide around the Jewish cemetery (Tarnów’s Jewish cemetery) was developed, and in the same year under the Małopolska Gościnna program, it was laid out to the cemetery trail (signs in Polish and English language) which have enabled self exploring. That same year, the memorial to the exterminated victims that stands at the gate of the cemetery, and the previously destroyed mortuary were renovated. Special guests at the cemetery are students who, under the guidance of teachers report within a year the interest in visiting the cemetery. The flagship project, implemented since 1996 by the Museum together with the Committee, is the Jews of Galicia Remembrance Days in Tarnów, which since 2005 is called Memorial Days of Galician Jews „Galicjaner Sztetl”. This project is initiated every year around the anniversary of the so-called first liquidation action, which took place on 11 – 18 June, 1942. This project, which consists of all kinds of cultural events has helped to promote two places associated with the Tarnów’s Jews. Bima, mentioned herein many times, became a special place, in its vault artists exist indeed within the framework of the night Concerts at Bima it gathers the audience in the open air of 150-300 listeners. Another place that existed on the map of cultural events in Tarnów is a place of memory in Zbylitowska Gora, near Tarnów. It is here, in the forest called Buczyna Germans killed citizens of Tarnów, the vast majority of them were Jews. It is reported that during the above-mentioned first dissolving action, during the very week of June 1942, about 6000 people, including 800 children from orphanages were executed in here. A monument raised after the war speaks of „victims of Nazi terror”. Next to it, the silhouettes of several Jewish mass graves symbolically bearing inscriptions in Polish and Hebrew are visible. This place was almost forgotten for many years after the war, only on the anniversary of the outbreak of war, school children came to light candles at most. Since 2000, the Jews of Galicia Remembrance Days in Tarnów have been inaugurated with the participation of school children, the assists of uniformed students of one of the high school of a military profile, and also the presence of Jewish and Catholic clergy. Including this place in the program of events organized by the Museum/Committee has inspired the local authorities to a particular concern for the place for continuous surveillance and maintenance of good order of this place. It needs to be added that this is also one of the places frequented especially by the Jewish/Israeli tours.

Above mentioned activities of Hebrew Subject have influenced, among others, subjects of a number of seminar, undergraduate, graduate papers, school, and photographic competitions. Several methodology conferences for teachers were organized in Tarnów, and the museum has prepared exhibitions on Jewish topics during this time. Today, the majority of the inhabitants of the many remnants of the Jewish inhabitants of Tarnów, which until recently were passed without a deeper historical reflection, are readable and understandable documents around erstwhile Tarnów shtetl.
Our actions are aimed, inter alia, to fill in the gaps in school education, where for the subject of regional history very little time is reserved, or it is completely omitted. 
Adam Bartosz

See also:
The project is co-financed from the funds of the EEA under the program „Citizens for Democracy” and the funds of the National Cultural Centre under the program Culture – Interventions 2015.
City plan, XVIII c.

Jewish tour in Tarnów

Tarnów Jews, Feast of Sukkot

Mezuzah Project – final

Dear Friends! As we wrote in our Jewish activity there are few ways. On of them is education. Last one and a half year we made Mezuzah project, which was big project for different age groups of children, students, youths. And now it’s time to present one of elements: a film by Bernadetta Cich. This film is a kind of summary of that project, but more important in the same time it is a little story of Jewish Tarnów. English subtittles soon.
The Mezuza film is available on web – here.
Drodzy Przyjaciele! Jak już wspominaliśmy, nasza, komitetowa żydowska działalność kieruje się w rozmaite strony. Jedną z nich jest edukacja. Ostatnie półtora roku realizowaliśmy duży edukacyjny projekt Mezuza, skierowany do rozmaitych grup wiekowych: dzieci, uczniów szkół podstawowych, gimnazjalistów, licealistów. Nadszedł czas, by zaprezentować jeden z elementów projektu – film, który jest podsumowaniem działań, przeprowadzonych w tymże projekcie, ale zarazem stanowi również dobry materiał do nauczania o historii tarnowskich Żydów. Tymczasem wyłącznie w polskiej wersji językowej, wkrótce także z napisami w języku angielskim.
Film Mezuza jest dostępny na stronie projektu: – tutaj.

Galicjaner Sztetl 2015 – Program


JUNE 11-18, 2015

JUNE 11 (Thursday):

12:00 Prayer in Zbylitowska Gora, at the mass grave of Tarnow Jews, with the participation of a Rabbi and a Catholic priest.
18:00 Screening of Simon Target’s award winning documentary film, A
Town Called Brzostek
, about the renovation of the Jewish cemetery in
Brzostek near Tarnow. Tarnów Theatre.
21.00 Music concert at the Bima Eliezer Mizrachi will perform a one of a kind concert of Jewish traditional and folklore music.

JUNE 12 (Friday):

13:30 Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the first transport of
prisoners from Tarnow to Auschwitz in June 1940. The ceremony will take
place at The Monument of the First Transportation to Auschwitz in
Evening Shabbat Program organized for friends &
interested parties by David Singer, Bobover Hasidic Jew from New York.
The President of Tarnow, Roman Ciepiela, will attend.

JUNE 13 (Saturday):

Ca 08:00 Shabbat Morning Prayer – Shacharit at the Bima [including the reading of the Torah].
15:00 – 18:00 Jewish Street project. The work of young volunteers will be exhibited.
21:00 Music concert under the Bimah featuring Klezmafour. Also on the concert program are performances by local musicians.
22:15 Havdala services marking the end of the Sabbath will take place under the Bima with Reb David Singer.

June 14 (Sunday):

11:00 – 13:00 Jewish cemetery guided tours. Tarnow’s Jewish cemetery is
one of the biggest and most interesting Jewish graveyards in Southern

June 16 (Tuesday):

18:00 „Księga Dębicy/The Book
of Debica
” – meeting with authors Ireneusz Socha and Arkadiusz Więch.
Art Gallery, Słowackiego Str. 1

19:00 „Yorcait. Hasidim Pilgrimages” – opening of photo exhibition of Michał Gąciarz. Art Gallery, Słowackiego Str. 1

June 18 (Thursday):

19:00 „Beyond the Forest. Jewish Presence in Eastern Europe 2004-2012”- opening of photo exhibition of Lola Kantor (Israel).

21:00 Music concert under the Bimah featuring Magda Brudzińska & Klezmer Trio.


Program Galicjaner Sztetl

Dni Pamięci Żydów Galicyjskich

Tarnów 11 – 18 czerwca 2015

11 czerwca [czwartek]

Godz. 12:00 modlitwa na miejscu straceń tarnowskich Żydow w Zbylitowskiej Górze z udziałem rabina i księdza katolickiego.

Godz. 18:00 Pokaz filmu Simona Targeta Miasto Brzostek o renowacji cmentarza w Brzostku.. Tarnowski Teatr.

Godz. 21:00 Koncert muzyki żydowskiej Pod bimą. Eliezer Mizrachi z repertuarem pieśni Żydów sefardyjskich.

12 czerwca [piątek]

Godz. 13:30 Uroczystości upamiętniające 75 rocznicę pierwszego
transportu więźniów z tarnowskiego więzienia do Auschwitz – Plac
Więźniów KL Auschwitz, Pomnik Pierwszego Transportu.

Wieczorem –
wieczerza szabatowa organizowana dla przyjaciół przez Dawida Singera
bobowskiego chasyda z NY. Hotel Tarnovia. Obowiązują specjalne

13 czerwca [sobota]

Ok. 08:00 Poranna modlitwa – szacharit pod bimą [czytanie Tory].
Godz. 15:00-18:00 Projekt Ulica Żydowska z udziałem młodych wolontariuszy.

Godz. 21:00 Koncert muzyki żydowskiej Pod bimą. Wystąpi zespół Klezmafour. Z zespołem zagrają kilka utworów tarnowscy muzycy.

Godz. 22:15 Uroczyste zakończenie szabatu, hawdala celebrowana przez reb Dawid Singera.

14 czerwca [niedziela]

Godz. 11:00-13:00 Otwarta Brama Cmentarza – zwiedzanie tarnowskiego cmentarza żydowskiego z przewodnikiem.

16 czerwca [wtorek]

BWA, ul. Słowackiego 1

Godz. 18:00 Księga Dębicy – spotkanie z autorami książki – Ireneuszem Sochą i Arkadiuszem Więchem
Godz. 19:00 Jorcajt. Pielgrzymki chasydów wernisaż wystawy fotografii Michała Gąciarza

18 czerwca [czwartek]

TCK, Rynek 5

Godz. 19:00 Poza lasem – Żydzi w Europie Wschodniej 2004-2012– wernisaż wystawy fotografii Loli Kantor z Izraela.

Godz. 21:00 Koncert pod Bimą, wystąpi Magda Brudzińska i Klezmer Trio.

MEZUZA 2015-2016!

Miło nam poinformować Państwa, że niebawem, w partnerstwie z Fundacją AntySchematy 2 i HL-senteret, rozpoczynamy projekt z funduszy EOG, którego operatorem są Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego i Polska Fundacja Dzieci i Młodzieży. Projekt zorganizowany zostanie z programu Obywatele dla Demokracji i nastawiony jest na edukację dzieci i młodzieży w zakresie postaw tolerancji, sprzeciwu wobec rasizmu i antysemityzmu oraz wszelkich postaw hejterskich, w tym mowy nienawiści. Projekt MEZUZA potrwa do kwietnia 2016 r. Wkrótce szczegóły!