Warsaw Ghetto Museum Council

Based on the Act of 21 November 1996 on Museums, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage appointed the members of the Museum Council at the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

Pursuant to the Act, the Museum Council supervises the Museum’s fulfilment of its duties as regards the collections and society; assesses, on the basis of the annual report submitted by the Museum’s Director, the activities of the Museum and gives its opinion on the annual activity plan submitted by the Director; in the event of announcing a competition for the position of Director, designates two additional members to the competition committee. The term of office of the members of the Museum Council is four years. In the years 2019 – 2023 the following persons make up the committee:

Colette Avital – Israeli diplomat and politician of Romanian origin, survivor of the Holocaust. In the years 1999-2009 she was a member of the Knesset from the Israeli Labor Party and One Israel. In her long-lasting diplomatic career, Ms Avital was, i.a. Consul General of Israel in New York. As a member of the Knesset she was in charge of an investigation aimed at identifying real estates in Israel belonging to European Jews, victims of the Holocaust. The Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, led by her, represents 50 organisations which support the Survivors.

Mieczysław Cisło – a Roman Catholic clergyman, Doctor of Theology, Rector of the Higher Clerical Seminary in Lublin, since 1998 Lublin auxiliary bishop. In the structures of the Polish Episcopate Conference, he was a delegate of the Catholic Movements and acted at the Secular Catholics Council. He was also Chairman of the Inter-religious Dialogue Council and the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism. For his involvement in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue and actions to preserve the heritage of Polish Jews, he received the Laurel Crown Decoration, awarded by the Israeli Embassy in Poland.

Michael Schudrich – American and Polish religious scholar and historian, since 2004 Chief Rabbi of Poland. In the years 1990–1998 he worked in Warsaw for the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. In the year 2000 he became the Rabbi of Warsaw and Lodz. It is mainly thanks to him that Jewish kindergartens and schools have been established in Poland. He is a member of the Rabbinate of the Republic of Poland. He actively participates in the Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish dialogue.

He was awarded the Officer Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for his outstanding merits in the activities for the Polish-Jewish dialogue, and the Missio Reconciliationis decoration for his work for the development of the Polish-Jewish dialogue.

Adam Struzik – physician, local government activist and social worker, parliamentarian. Senate Marshal in the years 1993-1997, senator of the second, third, and fourth term, from 2001 the Marshal of the Mazovia Province. A volunteer firefighter and member of the Provincial Board and the Chief Board of the Association of Volunteer Fire Brigades of the Republic of Poland. Since 1998 a councilman of the Mazovia Province. Chairman of the Health and Physical Culture Committee in the 1st term of the Mazovia Province Regional Council. In October 2018, on behalf of the Mazovia Province local government, he signed the lease deed for the Bersohn and Bauman Children’s Hospital for the benefit of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum for a period of 30 years.

Małgorzata Naimska – she graduated from the humanities at the University of Warsaw, she worked at the Polish PEN Club for many years as well as NGOs. She participated in the Political Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Władysław Bartoszewski. She had been working for many years in the capital city’s local government, acting as the Director, next Deputy Director of the Culture Office of the Municipal Office of the Capital City of Warsaw.

Artur Hofman – Chairman of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, actor, director and journalist, activist of the Jewish community in Poland, editor-in-chief of Słowo Żydowskie. In the years 1977–1982 he was an entrant, and in the years 1982-1991 an actor of the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw. In the years 1993-1998 he worked as a director of the Opera and Operetta in Szczecin. Since 2003 he has been a director in the Jewish Theatre. For many years, has been involved in the Polish-Jewish dialogue and the cultivation of the memory of martyrdom and the struggle of Polish Jews.

Dr. Jan Kutnik – member of the board of the “Well of Memory” Association, which deals with documenting of the history and culture of Lublin Jews. The Association organises workshops for students on human rights and counteracting discrimination, organises meetings, debates, and conferences commemorating important historical events, promotes European integration by organising international educational trips to memorial sites in Poland and Ukraine. It is the first representative of Lublin higher education institutions accepted for the Inter-University Program of Interdisciplinary PhD Studies of the Artes Liberales Academy.

Irene Kronhill – Pletka – she runs a foundation dedicated to the memory of her parents that supports Jewish cultural and educational projects and activities promoting social justice around the globe. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, and the JOINT (JDC) organisation which helped her family and many others in the most difficult times of war and the after-war period.

Anna Stupnicka-Bando – Righteous Among the Nations in the Warsaw Uprising, a liaison officer – „Anka” in the „Żywiciel” group in Żolibórz. During the occupation, in the winter of 1941, the mother of Anna Stupnicka-Bando led a Jewish girl, Liliana Alter, daughter of Bund activist Hilary Alter, out of the ghetto with the help of her daughter. Since then until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, Liliana was hidden by the Stupnicki family in their apartment in Żolibórz. Anna Stupnicka-Bando is the Chairman of the Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Gideon Nissenbaum – President of the Board of the Nissenbaum Foundation, son of its founder Sigmund Nissenbaum. Founded in Warsaw in 1983, for over 30 years it has been rescuing the traces of Jewish culture in Polish territories and commemorates the place of struggles and martyrdom of Jews during World War II, and popularises around the world the knowledge about the best traditions of the history of Poles and Jews. Sigmund Nissenbaum was one of the first advocates of the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

Barbara Blumenthal – merited for saving the Jewish cultural heritage, founder of conservation activities for the benefit of monuments, daughter of a Holocaust survivor, born in Warsaw, engineer Leon Joselzon vel Jonson who financed and donated to Yad Vashem the cast of the monument of the Ghetto Heroes according to of the original design by Nathan Rapaport and funded Janusz Korczak’s statue in the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan.

Abraham Foxman – son of a Polish and Jewish couple, Helena [Helen] and Józef [Joseph] Foxman, born in Baranowicze [Baranavichy]. In 1950, he emigrated with his parents to the United States. He graduated from the Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn. He obtained a BA in Political Science and with honourable mention in History at the City College of New York. He also graduated from the New York University School of Law. He wrote his diploma thesis on Jewish studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and international economy at the New School university. In 1965 he became a member of the Anti-Defamation League, and organisation which counteracts against anti-Semitism. In 1987, he was elected by the board to the position of the new ADL Chairman, in place of Nathan Perlmutter. Since March 2016 he has been leading the Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

Marian Turski – historian and journalist. Prisoner of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Chairman of the Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews Editor of the “Polityka” weekly. He was awarded the Commander’s Cross with Star – The Order of Polonia Restituta and the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his merits for Polish-German relations. He has devoted all his creative life to the struggle for human right to dignity.

Wacław Kornblum – Survivor of the Holocaust, eyewitness of history, born in Paris, in a Jewish family, at the end of the 1920s he moved to Warsaw. He lived at 42 Śliska Street. His parents were members of the Bund. After the outbreak of the war, the Kornblum family moved to 35 Niska Street. He survived the first liquidation action by bribing the Jewish Police. In 1943 his uncle ransomed him from the Umschlagplatz. Since then he had been hiding, first at his uncle’s place in the ghetto, later in Warsaw’s Praga and the Bialystok region. He survived the war and in 1957 he left for Israel. He returned to Warsaw after thirty years. He lives at Saska Kępa. Wacław’s father, Szlojme Kornblum , was a writer writing in Yiddish, books were printed and published in Warsaw. His work was digitalized in Vilnius and sent to YIVO in New York.

elaborated by Miłka Skalska