• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 24 November 2017

    Charity evening at Ognisko Polskie (The Polish Hearth Club) saw Lady Rose Cholmondeley, President of the Chopin Society, give a concert to 100 guests, who gathered to help fund the Irena Sendler Award. Holocaust survivor Lili Pohlmann, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in London Arkady Rzegocki and Learning from the Righteous Director Antony Lishak were among the guests.


    The event, which included an auction and a raffle, raised more than £3,000 for the Award, which recognises Polish citizens who have worked to preserve Jewish heritage and foster Jewish cultural renewal in Poland.


    Opening the event, Ambassador Rzegocki said: "I am very pleased to join you to support fundraising for the Irena Sendler Award.


    "The Polish Parliament declared 2018 the year of Irena Sendler. This will be an excellent opportunity to popularise her life story, as well as heroic deeds of the other 6,600 Polish Righteous Among the Nations, which remain largely unknown outside of Poland.


    "I would like to use this opportunity to thank Lady Rose Cholmondeley for her continuing efforts to promote Polish culture and Lili Pohlmann for bringing Irena’s Sendler’s story into spotlight."


    Lili Pohlmann, a Holocaust survivor and activist for the Polish-Jewish relations, then explained the history and purpose of the Award, and mentioned some of the teachers contributing to spreading the story of the Righteous. Among them was Antony Lishak, Director of the Learning from the Righteous charity, which uses the stories of acts of rescue and resistance by non-Jews to inspire children to make a positive impact on the world they live in.


    The Irena Sendler Award For Improving the World was established in 2008 by Tadeusz Taube and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture to commemorate Irena Sendler, who passed away on 12th May of that year at the age of 98.


    Declared a Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s Yad Vashem, Irena Sendler was a Polish underground social worker, who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland during the Second World War, refusing to reveal their identities even under torture when arrested by the Nazis.


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