New Realities of Jewish Heritage conference in Krakow, Poland

New Realities of Jewish Heritage conference in Krakow, Poland

On 26 and 27 June FRH participated in the New Realities of Jewish Heritage conference organised by Jewish Heritage Europe (JHE) at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland. The international conference marked the 10th anniversary of JHE and touched on a number of issues from digitisation and using new technologies to the integration of Jewish heritage into education and art.

The opening session was led by JHE Coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber, the director of Centropa Edward Serotta and Professor Jonathan Webber. In her speech, Ms Gruber reflected on her more than three decades advocating for Jewish heritage. She underlined how society has become more aware of the importance of documenting heritage and establishing cross-border connections for its better understanding and conservation. She also stressed the need for “rejecting forgetfulness and neglect to protect the memory of the Jewish community”.

Three FRH representatives led the session “Jewish Heritage – Who is this for?” on the afternoon of the 27th June: Michael Mail, director of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, as moderator, Lilian Grootswagers, President of FRH’s Advisory Board and Susanne Urban, historian and expert in Jewish Culture. The session examined society’s perception of heritage.

Michael Mail began his speech by drawing attention to an important fact: “…less than a quarter of the 3,318 synagogues in Europe are still active. The rest are either used for other purposes or unused” (see this map). In this sense, Lilian Grootswagers recalled that one of FRH’s missions is to feed the public debate to ensure the sustainability of the religious heritage. In addition, she referred to the FRH’s initiatives geared towards increasing public awareness and recognizing the sector’s efforts: Run for Heritage, Photo & video competition and the Religious Heritage Innovator of the Year.

For those interested, the recording of the conference is available online:

New Realities of Jewish Heritage (Day 1)

 New Realities of Jewish Heritage (Day 2)

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