The Auschwitz Jewish Center (AJC) in Oświęcim, Poland is just two miles from the Auschwitz–Birkenau death camps. The only Jewish presence in the vicinity of Auschwitz, the Center opened its doors in September 2000 so that people from around the world could gather to learn, pray, and remember the victims of the Holocaust.
Before World War II, and before the rise of Auschwitz, Oświęcim was an ordinary Polish town where Jews had lived since the 16th century. The Auschwitz Jewish Center tells the story of four centuries of Jewish life in its Core Exhibition Oshpitzin: The Story of Jewish Oświęcim. Nearly all of the Jews of Oświęcim were murdered in the Holocaust. Each April, we mourn the anniversary of their deportation. We insist that they are remembered with humanity and dignity.
This April, the Auschwitz Jewish Center is launching a new project to honor the Jews of Oświęcim, preserve their stories, and protect the historical record.
With your help, we can:
Create a memorial installation on the site of the Great Synagogue of Oświęcim—which was destroyed by the Nazis in November of 1939. The installation will feature historical photographs of this central Jewish house of worship, marking sacred space and representing our collective commitment to remembering the Holocaust. It will sync up with AJC’s smartphone app to offer an “augmented reality” view of where the Great Synagogue once stood.
It is more important than ever to remember the Jews of Poland. Please join us in a project that will honor their memory, mark sacred space, and advance Holocaust education opportunities in Oświęcim.
We are very grateful for the generosity of all of our project supporters and welcome contributions of any amount. Please note that the names of donors of $500 and above will be recognized at the physical site of the Great Synagogue memorial.
About the Auschwitz Jewish Center
The Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, operated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, is just two miles from the Auschwitz–Birkenau death camps. The Center is comprised of the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue, restored to its pre-war condition according to the recollections of survivors; the adjoining Kornreich House, which once housed a Jewish family and today houses a Jewish museum and educational programs; and the 100-year-old Kluger Family House, which belonged to the last Jewish resident of Oświęcim, Szymon Kluger, after WWII.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is proud to present international learning opportunities such as the ones offered by the Auschwitz Jewish Center. For more information, visit www.ajcf.org.
About the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Twenty years ago, our Museum was dedicated by survivors. Since then we have welcomed more than two million visitors, emerged as the primary resource in New York for teaching and learning about the Holocaust, and taken our place as the third largest Holocaust museum in the world. Visit us in New York or online at www.mjhnyc.org.
The above images include:
(1) Jewish Street, with the Great Synagogue (left). The Jewish Street was the center of Jewish religious and social life in Oświęcim. Collection of Mirosław Ganobis.
(2) Rendering of the new installation at the site of the Great Synagogue. Image by NArchiteKTURA.
(3) Members of a French delegation with the Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia reading from the Torah in the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue, December 2017. Photo by Andrzej Rudiak.
(4) American soldier visiting the Auschwitz Jewish Center Museum, December 2017. Photo by Andrzej Rudiak.
(5) British students engaging with the Auschwitz Jewish Center exhibitions, February 2015. Photo by Mykhailo Kapustian.
(6) Auschwitz Jewish Center, 2017. Photo by Tomasz Kuncewicz.
(7) The current site of the Great Synagogue with a commemoration plaque and daffodils planted through The Daffodil Project, April 2018. Photo by Tomasz Kuncewicz.
(8) A recreation of the early 1900s image of the ten commandments above the ark, Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue. Photo by Piotr Gajek.
(9) Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue interior. Collection of the Auschwitz Jewish Center.
(10) Auschwitz Jewish Center, May 2014. Photo by Mikhailo Kapustian.
(11) Auschwitz Jewish Center. Photo by Andrzej Rudiak.