School for Dialogue. Anti-Semitism awareness in small towns
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2021 - 31-08-2022
Project cost:
84 423,00 EUR
74 187,00 EUR
Types of activities:
educational activities, information activities
Target groups:
youth, teachers, local community

The project confronts the issue of lack of tolerance and respect for difference in Poland’s smaller towns and villages, which had a large Jewish community before the war. Limited knowledge of the multicultural past and current religious and ethnic homogeneity have a significant impact on how local communities view the issue of intercultural relations and diversity. The survey shows that the main source of knowledge about Jews and the Holocaust for young people is the Internet and school, but information gleaned from there does not translate into a change in attitudes toward this group. The results of the “Polish Prejudice Survey 3” (2017) confirm that anti-Semitism is a serious social problem in Poland. Popular anti-Semitism and widespread hate speech on the Internet reinforce anti-Semitic attitudes and behavior. At the same time, there is a lack of appropriate ways to convey historical knowledge about Jews and the Holocaust in the local context, and young people do not have the opportunity to revise negative stereotypes and prejudices.
As part of the project, educational workshops were conducted to familiarize schoolchildren from small towns with Jewish culture and history, as well as issues of anti-Semitism and xenophobia. A total of 25 four-day workshops were held. The youth also prepared 24 projects aimed at local residents and residents, including interviews with witnesses and witnesses of history, tours in the footsteps of the Jewish community, cleaning of Jewish cemeteries, classes on the local Jewish community and its culture, films, presentations, exhibitions, cooking workshops, guidebooks, commemorative plaques. Their goal was to restore the memory of the Jewish community. A total of 455 male and female students from small towns and villages took part in the activities.
The project filled a gap in the education of young people about the history, culture and traditions of Polish Jews, while focusing on the local aspect. It inspired the youth participating in the workshops, as well as local residents, to learn about the fate of their villages and the local Jewish community, and to change their attitudes to be more open and appreciative of cultural diversity. The project also contributed to recording the presence of the Jewish community in the space of the locality – in several of them the students launched petitions for commemorations that have a chance to become reality.

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