Worldwide Contacts

Worldwide Contacts

Many of our Częstochowa landsleit regularly travel around the world.
Listed here are landsleit offering themselves as contact points in their cities - reach out and connect!

  • Częstochowa
    Izabela Sobańska-Klekowska
    – email: czestochowa@tskz.pl Tel: Please email before arrival.

  • Lawrence, KS
    Erica Fox Zabusky
    – email: efoxz@yahoo.com Tel: +1-267-258-6640

From the Webmaster:

As we discovered at our First Reunion in Częstochowa, back in April 2004, Częstochowa Jews and their descendants live all over the world!

This page features a listing of people, all with their roots in Częstochowa, who have offered themselves as contact points in their respective cities, for other of our landsleit who live or may be visiting to their area.


Become a Contact Point!

If you would like to add your name to this listing, simply email the Webmaster with your name, email address and, optionally, a contact telephone number.

Please remember to include your location – your city/town, your state/province and your country.


From Our Webmaster

From Our Webmaster

Andrew Rajcher (Melbourne, Australia)

Welcome to the new and upgraded website of the World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants!

Our original website went online in mid-2004 following our First Reunion in April 2004 and during which our World Society was formed. Since then, the website has undergone a minor facelift but, with the advent of more advanced website, multi-platform and multimedia technology, it was really time to take advantage of these advancements and to develop an entirely new website.

Our Facebook group came into being in December 2009. Since then, our Częstochowa landsleit have been posting on that more and more and, as a result, have been using our Yahoo email group less and less – to the point that it is being used very rarely. So, with our new website going online and being linked to our Facebook group, it has been decided to close down the Yahoo email group. For fourteen years, it has served us well, but the time had come to recognise that it has outlived its usefulness.

In putting this new website online, I’d like to draw a few of its new features to your attention:

  • The top left-hand corner now features the ability to instantly translate everything from English into either Polish or Hebrew.
  • The top right-hand corner now features the ability to search the entire website for specific text (the magnifying-glass symbol). Next to that are two other symbols – the envelope symbol which will allow you to email me directly and the house symbol which will return you to the website’s home page.
  • Older News items will no longer be deleted. They will be archived and will remain accessible irrespective of how long ago they were posted.
  • Notifications of new material on this website will be automatically posted onto our Facebook group with a link back to the relevant part of the website itself.
  • When future Reunions or other events are organised, you will be able to register for these directly through this website.

In putting our new website online, I have also added a new section – YIZKOR (MEMORIAL) BOOKS. You can access it via the HISTORY item on the main menu.

But that’s not all – we have now added ANOTHER new section to our website!

With the help of our friends at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and the resources of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, we have now added a section devoted to the CZĘSTOCHOWA RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS. These people are heroes and they should rightfully be honoured here. You can access this section also via the HISTORY item on the main menu.

Finally, I’d like to thank our website programmer Viv Rotstein for her work in setting up the structure of our new website and for her patience, both now and ongoing, in teaching me how to use it all.

I hope that everyone likes our new web home. As always, I welcome comments and suggestions which can be emailed to me by using the envelope symbol in the top right-hand corner of any page on the website.

Enjoy!


The Sigmund A Rolat Story

The Sigmund A. Rolat Story

- produced to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, held only seventy years late

This film, “Generations of the Shoah – the Sigmund A Rolat Story” is a longer version of that which was shown during the celebrations of Sigmund’s barmitzvah, an event which he shared with Henry, his thirteen-year-old grandson.

The World Society gratefully thanks Sharon Danzger and her sons Adam, Ben and Daniel, for permission to feature this film on our website.


Meeting the Pope

World Society President Meets Pope Benedykt XVI

- during the Pope's visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp

During the visit of Pope Benedykt XVI to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 28th May 2006, the President of The World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants, Sigmund Rolat, was among those privileged enough to meet him.

Sigmund presented the Pope with a copy of the Album of our Exhibition, “The Jews of Częstochowa”.

The Pope was particularly moved by the inscription Sigmund had written inside the Album – a fragment of Psalm 133: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”.

This inscription connected directly with the words of the Pope’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, when he referred to the Jews as his “elder brothers in faith”

 

This is how the
Częstochowa edition of
“Gazeta Wyborcza”
covered Sigmund’s meeting
with the Pope.

Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Shudrich, meets the Pope. Israeli Ambassador to Poland, David Peleg z”l, is second from the left.

Pope Benedykt XVI reads the inscriptions on each of the memorial plaques.

Pope Benedykt XVI addresses those gathered and the world on the occasion of this historic visit.

The World Society gratefully acknowledges “Gazeta Wyborcza” for the use of its material
and also Zbigniew Burda for all other photographs which appear on this page.


Honorary Citizenship

Sigmund Rolat Made Honorary Citizen of Częstochowa

by unanimous vote of the Częstochowa City Council

Our World Society President, Sigmund Rolat, was made an Honorary Citizen of Częstochowa. By unanimous vote, the Częstochowa City Council bestowed the honour on Sigmund in January 2012.

The motion to honour Sigmund, sponsored by Councillor Jerzy Zając, was in recognition of his achievements. These included the formation of our World Society, his promotion of the city and of its Jewish history around the world, his support of culture for the city’s young people and for his stablishing monuments to victims of the Holocaust in Częstochowa – in particular, the monuments at the Umschlagplatz and at the HASAG-Pelcery slave labour camp.

In moving the motion, Cr.Zając also cited Sigmund’s other activities outside Częstochowa, including his Chairmanship of the North American Council in support of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and for his work in building bridges between Poles and Jews.

Cr.Zając noted that Sigmund’s efforts have been recognised by the Presidents of both Poland and the USA and that he has met with both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedykt XVI.

Sigmund Rolat is only the fifth person to be awarded Honorary Citizenship of the City of Częstochowa. The others are Pope John Paul II (in 1991), President Ryszard Kaczorowski (2003) and Maria and Paweł Chaubon (2008).

Below is how local television station TV Orion covered the event.

The World Society gratefully acknowledges
and sincerely thanks


Telewizja Orion
and
Czarek Szymański

for permission to use the video
which appears on this page.


Honorary Professorship

Sigmund Rolat Made an Honorary Professor

of the Jan Długosz University of Częstochowa

In 2014, our World Society President, Sigmund Rolat, was made an Honorary Professor of the Jan Długosz University of Częstochowa.

The induction took place on 7th October 2014 at a ceremony marking the start of the institution’s 44th academic year. The audience witnessing the event included Sigmund’s children, Geoffrey and Samantha, the Częstochowa Mayor and City Councillors, and senior members of the Academy’s professorial staff.

The honour was bestowed on Sigmund in recognition of his contribution to the University’s research programmes and to the awareness of Częstochowa’s Jewish history.

(The video makes mention of the Academy gaining the status of a “University”. This was achieved in 2018.)

Below is how local television station TV Orion covered the event.

The World Society gratefully acknowledges
and sincerely thanks


Telewizja Orion
and
Czarek Szymański

for permission to use the video
which appears on this page.


An Interview With Sigmund Rolat

An Interview with Sigmund Rolat

- recorded on 27th August 2013

Following having been honoured, for the third time, as Częstochowa’s Patron of Culture, our World Society President, Sigmund Rolat,
was interviewed W sieci programme of local television station TV Orion.

The World Society gratefully acknowledges
and sincerely thanks


Telewizja Orion
and
Czarek Szymański

for permission to use the video
which appears on this page.


Our People

Our World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants

- a lasting legacy from our First Reunion in Częstochowa in April 2004

OUR PEOPLE

PRESIDENT: Sigmund A. Rolat
VICE-PRESIDENT: Alon Goldman
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Lea Sigiel-Wolinetz
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Ephraim Fiksel
Murray Mruvka
Alan M. Silberstein

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Rabbi Mark Kiel, Emerson, USA Victor Markowicz, New York City, USA
Dr Elizabeth Asz Mundlak, Aventura, USA Andrew Rajcher, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Iris Rozencwajg, Houston, USA Arnold Semsky, Millwood, USA
Piotr Stasiak, Warsaw, Poland Severin Szperling, Tucson, USA

ADVISORY BOARD

Sala Alexander, Buenos Aires, Argentina Irit Amiel, Tel Aviv, Israel Dr Felicia Figlarz Anchor, Nashville, USA
Liora Engelhart Averbuch, Lima, Peru Ania Diamant, Geneva, Switzerland Glenn S Easton, Washington DC, USA
Mary Stwska Elkan, Atlanta, USA Ben Feinreich, Los Angeles, USA Sylvia Finkelstein, Paris, France
Sabina Frydman, Aventura, USA Sir Martin Gilbert, Oxford, England Prof. Eddie Goldberg, Boston, USA
Dr Anna Goldman, Częstochowa, Poland Jessica Grosman, Glascow, Scotland Monica Grunberg, Montevideo, Uruguay
Larissa Gruszow, Brussels, Belgium Isabelle Horon, Baltimore, USA Eva Markowicz Jagermann, Montreal, Canada
Sala Jacoby, Frankfurt, Germany Martin Jaskel, London, England Prof Daniel Kazez, Springfield, USA
Ahuva Neufeld, Toronto, Canada Richard Parasol, San Francisco, USA Lucy Rimon, Shoham, Israel
Miriam Rotfeld, Haifa, Israel Anat Pilowsky, Palo Alto, USA Sylvia Safer, New York, USA
Harriet Partel Schleifer, Tarrytown, USA Lusia Simberg, Stockholm, Sweden Marvin Szymkowicz, Chevy Chase, USA
Laya R Thomas, Hamburg, Germany

WEBMASTER:

Andrew Rajcher, Melbourne, Australia

FACEBOOK GROUP

Andrew Rajcher, Administrator Alon Goldman, Moderator Lucyna Artymiuk, Moderator


Our World Society

Our World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants

- a lasting legacy from our First Reunion in Częstochowa in April 2004

ABOUT US

The World Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation which grants the Society tax-exempt status under the United States Department of the Treasury and the United States Internal Revenue Service. Our organisation is exempt from Federal Income Tax under the IRS code and all charitable contributions to us, be they donations, bequests, devises, transfers or gifts, are tax deductible in the USA.

The World Society acts a clearing house for information and education. Its purpose is to foster and support research into the history of Częstochowa Jewry – their vital contribution to the commerce, industry, and culture of Częstochowa and beyond.

Częstochowa, the most sacred Roman Catholic city in Poland, and the home of the Black Madonna, has for centuries been a pilgrimage site for millions of Catholics.

Before World War II, around one-third of the population were Jews (almost 40,000). After the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, they first confined the Jews to a ghetto and then deported them to the Treblinka death camp. Some 5,200 survived in HASAG, a forced labour camp on the outskirts of the city. Today, there are fewer than 100 Jews in the city.

The World Society of Częstochowa Jews and Their Descendants is a focal point for all seeking contact with other Częstochowers.

One of our major projects was to establish the Jewish Museum of Częstochowa. In 2016, with the help of the Mayor and City Council of Częstochowa, that dream became a reality and our exhibition, “The Jews of Częstochowa”, now has a permanent home . Our website contains more information about the Museum.

Our other major project is to restore the Częstochowa Jewish Cemetery – the third largest Jewish cemetery in Poland. While a great deal of cleaning up has been done and while the gates and martyrs’ monuments have been restored, a permanent restoration solution for the cemetery, as a whole, has still not been achieved. The World Society continues to focus on this project.

We invite all Jews, who can trace their roots to the city of Częstochowa and its surrounding area, to contact us either directly or through our Facebook page. We are a worldwide family comprising four generations – we warmly invite you to become a member of our family.

CONTACT US

The World Society of
Częstochowa Jews
and Their Descendants

733 Park Avenue,
Suite 1,
New York, NY 10021, USA.

Tel: +1 212-226-2900
Fax: +1 212-925-4324

Email our office:
oxonian18@aol.com

Email our webmaster,
Andrew Rajcher:
aragorn@axiomcs.com.au