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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > September 2019 newsletter > Preserving the Heritage of Polish Jewry: Beit Berl Students Create Joint Projects with Polish Youth

Preserving the Heritage of Polish Jewry: Beit Berl Students Create Joint Projects with Polish Youth

When the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland launched a project to bring together young Israelis and Poles into a dialogue about inter-culturalism,
encouraging them to create joint projects devoted to preserving the heritage of Polish Jews, they turned to Beit Berl College. This year’s cohort consists of 14 Israelis – nine of whom are affiliated with Beit Berl – and 15 young adults from Poland. In July, the Israelis travelled to Warsaw for a five-day joint workshop with their Polish counterparts, and in September the Polish participants will come to Israel.

One of the goals of the Polish-Israeli Youth Exchange is to develop joint projects. The participants were divided into five groups and brainstormed for ideas. Miriam Bakman 25, who is starting her 3rd year at Beit Berl in the Youth Development and English Teaching tracks and is part of the Israeli delegation, hopes her group will choose her idea: one-year programs where 9th graders in Israeli and Polish schools will study English together using Skype or a similar technology. “English is mandatory both in Poland and in Israel, and joint classes will be fascinating, enabling kids from different cultures to get to know each other,” she explains. 

“I found that many of the people I met in Poland really want to turn over a new leaf with the Jews by creating a common language and a better shared future,” remarks Miriam. “The group is extremely close. The Polish participants are pro-Israel and pro-Jewish, and many of them study Hebrew and Yiddish even though they have no personal connection to Judaism.  We had a lot of fun together in Warsaw and I am looking forward to hosting them in Israel,” she adds. 

In Poland, the group spent most of the time at the POLIN Museum, attending workshops about anti-Semitism and Jewish life in Poland, as well as meeting with representatives of organizations involved in Polish-Jewish dialogues. In Israel, the group will travel the country together, carry out volunteer work, and hold their final workshops.

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