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Cardinal Jozef Tomko visits Bardejov

Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko of the Roman Catholic Church visited the Jewish Suburbia and the Bardejov Holocaust Memorial on Sunday, July 24th.

Cardinal Tomko (born in 1924) was elevated to Cardinal-Deacon in 1985 by Pope John Paul II (originally from Poland). The Cardinal then served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 1985 to 2001, "During his tenure, the Cardinal became a close confidant of Pope John Paul, and served as a special papal envoy to several religious celebrations and events in an array of different countries". (Read more here)

While priests and bishops from the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations have visited the Memorial in the past, Cardinal Tomko—who was accompanied by BJPC associates Pavol Hudak and Peter Hudak—is the first archbishop to have visited the Badejov Memorial and pay homage to those who died in the Holocaust.

Jewish Wanderings Bardejov Tour

This is the 5th year that the tour of historical Jewish sites in Bardejov, led by Pavol Hudak and Peter Hudak, was part of the Jewish Wanderings project which offers tours for the public to different sites in Bardejov.

The Jewish Bardejov tour took place on Sunday, July 17th. Despite the rainy day, a large group of around 60 people came to hear stories and learn about the Jewish community of Bardejov. 

This year, the tour focused on Jewish Community life in the area of the main town square before, during, and after WWII. Indeed, while in the past years locals became familiar with the Jewish Suburbia, not many know that before the 1942 deportation from Bardejov, the main square had many homes and businesses owned by Jewish families and was an important part of Jewish community life. Furthermore, seven Jews, with the help of locals, were hidden in a cellar under the square during the war. We hope that next year’s “Jewish Wandering Tour” will tell the story of the renovated synagogue in the Suburbia. 

BJPC participates in the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow

The Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow—now in its 26th year—is the largest presentation of contemporary Jewish culture, featuring almost 300 events over 10 days and 30,000 participants from around the world. The Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow is one of the partners of the Cultural Festival and, thus, hosts some of the festival’s events.

The BJPC was invited to participate in a lecture-discussion program about the situation of the Jewish communities in central Eastern Europe, particularly in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic during Post-WWII period. Peter Hudak represented BJPC and spoke about Slovakia, while Eva Kalousová, faculty member at the Jewish Studies Center of the Palacký University in Olomouc talked about the Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, and Edyta Gawron, head of the new Centre for the Study of the History and Culture of Krakow Jews at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow talked about the situation in Poland and moderated the discussion.

The conversation covered post-WWII Jewish history, which is relatively unknown in Central Europe. During the Q&A session the audience learned about topics such as the return of survivors to their homelands, rebuilding Jewish communities after the Holocaust, religious life during the Communist Era, and Jewish community and life in Central Europe. For Peter it was an opportunity to explain and discuss different aspects of postwar Jewish life, not only in Slovakia, but also particularly in Bardejov.

Click to view a photo gallery of the 26th annual Krakow Jewish Festival
Famous Slovak Writer visits Bardejov

Michal Hvorecky, a famous Slovak contemporary writer of novels and short stories, came to Bardejov on July 28th for a public reading of his new book. The literary event, which was called ‘Bodka,’ was organized by Kandelaber, a local NGO. Before the evening event, Mr. Hvorecky, expressed his interest in Bardejov’s Jewish Heritage and accompanied Peter Hudak for a short tour to the Holocaust Memorial and the Suburbia. He was so impressed with our efforts to preserve the Jewish Heritage in Bardejov that he took the time to express his appreciation for our projects to the local audience before beginning his reading.

Please Support Us
Our mission is to preserve Bardejov’s Jewish Heritage, memorialize and honor Bardejov Holocaust victims, and conduct educational outreach to school and community groups to teach tolerance and diversity. The Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee is not funded by any grants and depends solely on the support of generous individuals. 
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