High school directors from Israel visit POLIN Museum
On 2-5 April, a group of 15 high school directors from Israel organized a study tour to POLIN Museum.
The directors came on an invitation from the Museum, which is making efforts to ensure that Israeli youth visit POLIN Museum while on tour in Poland. We believe that the core exhibition will allow young Israelis to learn about the history and culture of Polish Jews in a broader context rather than concentrating exclusively on the Holocaust.
The group of Israeli high school directors got acquainted with the Museum educational offer and toured the core exhibition, paying particular attention to the following galleries: the First Encounters, Paradisus Iudaeorum and the Jewish Street. Next, the educators participated in a workshop devoted to the subject of shaping Jewish identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. They also attended lectures on the topics such as socio-political situation in contemporary Poland and the problem of antisemitism in pre-war sport. A tour of Warsaw was included in the itinerary of the directors’ visit.
The participants toured the core exhibition with great attention. They all stressed the fact that taking part in the Museum workshop and lectures was a very special experience. In the evaluation form which was distributed towards the end of their stay, some of them wrote: ”I would like to extend my sincere thanks for a very eye-opening experience. I am leaving Warsaw having gained vast knowledge; I am feeling proud and also, strangely, a little bit Polish. The visit has enriched me and I am sure that it will affect my work as an educator as well as my private life.”
”Since my return home, I have been constantly thinking about my visit at the Museum. I gather what is most telling is the realisation of not merely who had experienced loss, but also of what had been lost.”
From the point of view of the POLIN Museum’s mission, opinions of the visitors – who collectively admitted that a visit at POLIN Museum will be a main feature of the itinierary of each visit to Poland they are going to organize in the future - are of vital importance. ”I will bring my pupils to the Museum during our trip to Poland,” they wrote in the evaluation. „I am so glad I decided to come here, and I feel it is most important to bring our pupils to the Museum.” ”As for visits of Israeli youth at the Museum – their tours should be interactive; we must decide how to incorporate them in the intensive program of touring Warsaw.”
We thank our guests for the positive feedback and remarks which will allow us to improve the way in which we present the history of Polish Jews. Owing to these opinions, we will be better prepared for future visits of high school directors from Israel, which we hope will happen again very soon.
The visit’s program was made possible thanks to the support of Nimrod S. and Odette Ariav.