Mazel tov to Monika Krawczyk, the longtime CEO of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ), who was elected this week as leader of Poland’s main Jewish umbrella organization, the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland — the first woman to be elected to this post.
Her election to chair of the Union’s board of directors brings to the post an activist and expert on the restitution of Jewish property, the preservation of Jewish heritage sites, and the commemoration of the Shoah, as well as on educational projects on Jewish history and heritage.
Restitution is one of the issues dealt with by the Union.
She told JTA and the jewish.pl web site that the process of returning prewar property to the Jewish community remains a priority, saying “it is the most important source of financing for the Jewish community in Poland, both religious and cultural needs as well as the protection of unique monuments.”
Monika served for 14 years as CEO of FODZ, which was established in 2002 by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO).
Its primary mission is:
to protect and commemorate the surviving sites and monuments of Jewish cultural heritage in Poland. The Foundation is active where no Jewish community exists today or where distance from major urban centers or lack of sufficient financial resources makes it difficult for existing small Jewish communities to provide adequate long-term care and maintenance.
Its stated goals are:
— reclaiming the properties which before WWII belonged to Jewish Religious Communities and other Jewish legal entities in Poland (pursuant to the Law on the Relationship between the State and the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of 1997), and providing legal services for the regulatory procedure of restitution;
— managing restituted properties;
— protecting properties bearing special religious or historical significance.
— constructing and installing monuments and memorial plaques to commemorate a site or event