- Center for Jewish Culture in Krakow
is pleased to announce that
The "Felek" statuette,
dedicated to the memory of Rafael F. Scharf,
has been awarded for the year 2006 to
Professor Anthony Polonsky of Brandeis University
This award, established by the Judaica Foundation in Krakow in 2004, is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement in preserving and making known the heritage of Polish Jewry. The statuette is awarded by a committee made up of Betty Scharf (London), Janina Ruth Buczynska (Krakow), Lili Pohlman (London), Prof. Jan Blonski (Krakow), Michal Sobelman (Warsaw) and Joachim S. Russek (Krakow, secretary of the committee). The award ceremony took place at the Judaica Foundation's Center for Jewish Culture in Kazimierz on the occasion of a New Year's Eve concert on December 31, 2006. The "Felek" statuette is the work of the Krakow sculptor, Jerzy Noworol.
The statuette commemorates Rafael F. Scharf, born in Kazimierz in 1914, graduate of the Krakow Hebrew Gymnasium and of the Faculty of Law of the Jagiellonian University, and long-time journalist of Nowy Dziennik, Krakow. Although he spent most of his life in London, where he settled in 1938, he always remained a devoted amicus Cracoviae, engaged in Polish-Jewish affairs and committed to the concept of building bridges between Jews and Poles. During the last fourteen years of his life he was a co-founder and creator of the Judaica Foundation and its Center for Jewish Culture in Kazimierz, where he frequently spoke and shared his experiences and knowledge of the richness of Jewish life in prewar Krakow. He died in London in September 2003.
Anthony Polonsky an expert on the history of the Jews of east-central Europe and in particular on Polish-Jewish relations, holds the Abramson Professorship of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University, a chair created through a gift to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where Professor Polonsky is a regular participant in programs organized by the Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. In 1999 he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of the Polish Republic.
Professor Polonsky is a co-founder of the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies in Oxford and of the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies. He is Chair of the Editorial Collegium of POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry, which has appeared since 1986 and is the most important English-language scholarly publication devoted to this topic.
He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous publications devoted to the history of Poland and of Polish Jews, including Jews in Eastern Poland and the Soviet Union 1929-1946 (with Norman Davies, 1991), A Cup of Tears: A Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto (London, 1990), My Brother's Keeper? Recent Polish Debates about the Holocaust (London, 1989), Jews in Warsaw (with Dr. Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski jr., 1991) and Politics in Independent Poland (Oxford, 1972).