The Poles who preserve Jewish heritage

Irena Sendler Award awarded to two Poles for their contribution to the preservation of the country's Jewish heritage.

Nissan Tzur, Poland,

Adam Bartosz
Adam Bartosz
Natalia Gancarz

The Taube Foundation, which works to preserve Jewish heritage in Poland, has decided to grant two Polish citizens the Irena Sendler Memorial Award for the Righteous Among the Nations in recognition of their contribution and activity to preserving the Jewish heritage of the country.

The prize was awarded to Zuzanna Radzik, an intellectual and public activist who received the award for research and articles she published, as well as lectures and guidance on Jewish-Catholic relations, Catholicism and feminism. For the past 15 years, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Dialog Forum, the largest Polish organization working to foster Jewish-Polish relations in Poland.

The second winner of the prize is Adam Bartosz, an ethnographer and museologist who founded, 30 years ago, the Committee for Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Tarnów. From 1980-2012, he was the director of the District Museum in Tarnów and organized, in 1982, the first postwar war exhibition dedicated to Jews outside of the Jewish Historical Institute.

In 2011 he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for actions to protect, preserve, and develop the cultural identity of national and ethnic minorities, particularly Jews and Roma.

“Whether deepening Catholic-Jewish relations or preserving Jewish material heritage in Tarnow, our 2019 awardees connect people of all ages and backgrounds to Poland's Jewish heritage as an integral part of Polish history and cultural identity,” said Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies and Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in San Francisco.

The Irena Sendler Memorial Award was created in 2008 by Taube Philanthropies in memory of courageous partisan Irena Sendlerowa whom Yad Vashem named a “Righteous Among The Nations.” Each year, in commemoration of the May 12 anniversary of Sendler’s passing, the award is presented to Polish citizens who have been exemplary in preserving and revitalizing​ their country’s Jewish heritage.