New York, NY, March 8, 2006 – “The World Society of Czestochowa Jews and Their Descendantsâ€? has been formed as the natural outgrowth of the immensely popular and important exhibition entitled “The Jews of Czestochowa. Coexistence-Holocaust-Memory,â€? which is currently touring the United States. The World Society will act as a clearing house of information and education. Its purpose will be to foster and support research into the history of Czestochowa Jews – their vital contribution to commerce, industry, and culture of Czestochowa and beyond.

Czestochowa, the most sacred Roman Catholic city in Poland, and home of the Black Madonna, has for centuries been a pilgrimage site for millions of Catholics. Before World War II about a third of the population ware 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 6,000 survived in HASAG, a forced labor camp on the outskirts of the city. Today, there are fewer than 100 Jews in the city.
“The Jews of Czestochowaâ€? is an award-winning show, which first opened in Czestochowa, Poland, in 2004 and then moved to the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. It was visited by tens of thousands of Polish and foreign visitors. This exhibition motivated an elite Czestochowa school of fine arts to conceive a program entitled “Inspired by Jewish Culture,â€? which in September 2005 was incorporated into the curriculum of all fine arts schools in Poland. The North American tour of both “The Jews of Czestochowaâ€? and “Inspired by Jewish Cultureâ€? began in 2005 in New York City, where the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland hosted the exhibit to rave reviews. From New York City, the exhibit moved to Washington, DC and is currently on view at the Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
“The World Society of Czestochowa Jews and Their Descendantsâ€? will be the source of information for all seeking contact with other Czestochowers, and those who wish to find out about “The Jews of Czestochowaâ€? traveling exhibition, e.g. its ecumenical character and its current location. A key function of the World Society will be to secure a permanent venue for the exhibit at the end of its world tour. Upon request, the World Society staff will furnish exhibit related material to all.

The World Society is headquartered at 401 Broadway, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10013.
Tel. 212-226-2900, Fax 212-925-4324, e-mail: CzWorldSociety@yahoo.com