Jewish Heritage Europe

Shana Penn, Warsaw’s Mayor & Poland’s Culture Minister Honored

Photo: Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Mazel tov to Shana Penn, the executive director of the Taube Foundation, who was decorated with Poland’s Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit, one of the highest honors Poland grants to foreign citizens.

The decoration was presented by Jacek Michałowski, Head of the Chancellery of the Polish President, on behalf of President Bronisław Komorowski, for “outstanding contribution to the development of Polish–Jewish dialogue, supporting the creation of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, promoting modern Polish history and advocating the inclusion of Poland in the United States Visa Waiver Program.”

The presentation took place on October 23 during the 2013 Irena Sendler Memorial Award Ceremony, hosted by the Taube Foundation at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Mazel tov too to the 2013 recipients — two Polish government leaders who were honored for having worked to advance the creation of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw:  Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and  Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw.

The Irena Sendler Memorial Award is granted annually to Polish citizens who have worked to preserve Jewish heritage and foster Jewish cultural renewal in Poland. It was established in 2008 by Tad Taube and the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture to commemorate Irena Sendler, who died on May 12 of that year in Warsaw at age 98. Sendler rescued hundreds of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland. She was declared a Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem.