JFCS Partners with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow on a New Exhibit Featuring Rywka’s Diary
When the JFCS Holocaust Center first received an old and tattered school notebook written in Polish and pulled from the ashes of Auschwitz, JFCS Executive Director Dr. Anita Friedman suspected the power the mysterious volume contained as she turned each carefully penned page.
Since the manuscript’s publication in 2014 Rywka’s Diary: The Writings of a Jewish Girl from the Lodz Ghetto has been an international sensation, sold alongside The Diary of Anne Frank and, at last count, translated into 15 languages worldwide.
This summer Krakow’s Galicia Jewish Museum has a new exhibit titled, The Girl In The Diary, In Search of Rywka Lipszyc, which allows visitors to enter into the women’s world of the Lodz ghetto while spotlighting the Jewish identity of the 14-year-old author, along with her anguished and inspiring story.
The JFCS Holocaust Center played a pivotal role in making sure that the exhibit was historically accurate and riveting. Yedida Kanfer, the JFCS Holocaust Center’s Coordinator of Education Services, worked closely with museum staff to give context of the times and events Rywka refers to in her diary. The Holocaust Center also recorded young women in Northern California reading their favorite passages of the diary, which were incorporated into the exhibit.
The exhibition also includes historical artifacts and documents from museums in Poland, the United States, Israel, Germany, and Belgium and runs through March 2018 with plans for it to leave Poland and travel internationally.
Dr. Friedman delivered a lecture at the exhibit’s press conference and opening reception and says, “Rywka’s emotional struggles also resonate in the hearts of each of us, as we grope our way through an uncertain and often unkind world. Her story gives us hope—because through her eyes we see the truth: we see both the worst and the best of what human beings are capable of. The choice is ours.”
Proceeds of the book benefit the JFCS Holocaust Center.