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Wdzięczność-Gratitude-הכרת הטוב

Urszula Antosz-Rekucka (Shtetl Mszana Dolna) – Individual category

Forum for Dialogue (founder Andrzej Fowarczny) – Institutional category

B’nai B’rith International announced today the recipients of a new award to honor Polish citizens who have shown commitment to preserving Jewish heritage in Poland and cultivating Jewish-Polish relations. The award is called Wdzięczność-Gratitude-הכרת הטוב in Polish, English and Hebrew.

The recipients are:

Urszula Antosz-Rekucka (Shtetl Mszana Dolna) – Individual category

Forum for Dialogue (Andrzej Folwarczny) – Institutional category

The award will include a unique statuette and certificate designed by Klara Jankiewicz and will be presented on June 27 at a celebration marking 100 years since the establishment of B’nai B’rith in Poland. The ceremony will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Members of the award committee are: Professor Andrzej Friedman, president, and Dr. Sergiusz Kowalski, former president, of B’nai B’rith Warsaw Lodge; Lili Haber, chair, Association of Cracowians in Israel; Professor Adam Daniel Rotfeld, former Foreign Minister of Poland; Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO, B’nai B’rith International; Rabbi Eric Fusfield, deputy director, B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy and director of Legislative Affairs, B’nai B’rith International; and Alan Schneider, director, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem, which serves as the award secretariat.

The award is founded on the ancient Jewish principle of giving due praise to God and man and is informed by Psalms 56:13 “Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.” It is the first award established by the global Jewish community, of which B’nai B’rith International is an integral part, to Poles for their contribution to dialogue and preservation.

Antosz-Rekucka, founder of Shtetl Mszana Dolna, heads a group of volunteers dedicated to saving the memory of the Jews of Mszana Dolna and building relations with the descendants of the few who survived the Shoah. They care for sites of memory and murder and set historical markers at sites significant to the Jewish past in the town. Antosz-Rekucka was exposed to Jewish history during theology studies at Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow. She was fired from her teaching job at a primary school because of her ardent dedication to preserving Jewish heritage in her town.

Forum for Dialogue, founded and led by Folwarczny, is dedicated to inspiring new connections between contemporary Poland and the Jewish people, combating anti-Semitism, teaching about Jewish history and culture and preserving local Jewish heritage. The forum has developed many educational and programmatic activities aimed at strengthening Polish-Jewish relations.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Andrzej Friedman, president, B’nai B’rith Warsaw Lodge:

Alan Schneider, director, B’nai B’rith World Center, Jerusalem:  +972-52-5537441