Jewish Heritage Trail in Bialystok
The project Jewish Heritage Trail in Bialystok has been implemented as an independent social initiative by a group of students and doctorate candidates, volunteers at The University of Bialystok Foundation, having professor Jerzy Nikitorowicz, the Rector of the university, and professor Andrzej Sadowski, the Dean of The Faculty of History and Sociology as its patrons of honour.
The project is aimed at: presenting the history of Bialystok Jews and Polish-Jewish relations in Bialystok in the years 1658-1939 (1945), describing historical sites connected with Bialystok Jews and placing informative signs there, showing Jews as a part of the multinational pre-war Polish society, popularizing some elements of Jewish culture and tradition, weakening mutual Polish and Jewish stereotypes, and engaging the local community in various activities within the project framework. The target groups of the project are: university and high-school students, Bialystok dwellers, descendants of Bialystok Jews, participants of international exchange programmes (including Israeli), and tourists. In the project framework they have included: planning the trail, publicizing an informative booklet and map in printed and electronic version, building an interactive website of the project, marking the trail sites and opening the trail to the public with a walk around the city, publicizing teacher’s materials. Along with these activities they have been promoting the idea and effects of the project through accompanying educational and artistic events, such as: film screenings, performances, lectures, workshops, seminars, exhibits, trips and city games. They believe that in the long run the initiative they have undertaken will not only add to common knowledge of the history of Bialystok Jews and elements of Jewish culture and tradition, but also build up consciousness of the multinational heritage of Bialystok, interest in the local history, and respect towards other cultures and traditions.