Shalom Foundation

It all began in Lodz, the town of weavers and factory owners` fortunes. In a tenement o­n Kilinski Street, covered with a layer of factory dust in which years of Jewish life had accumulated like rings in an old tree, there was the I.L. Peretz School. It was closed down after the disgraceful events of March 1968, with zealousness equal to that with which all traces of Polish Jews had been erased. The students, however, have not forgotten what o­nce was the world of their childhood, the color of their parents` and their relatives` memories. Separated by barriers of borders, living in different countries - they stayed in touch with o­ne another. Sharing a common desire - to preserve memory. The past would then speak with the voices not o­nly of sages and writers, but also of ordinary people, passing o­n from generation to generation the word Shalom, "peace," understood in every language. This is the origin of the American-Polish-Israeli Shalom Foundation. It was established in 1988 at the initiative of Golda Tencer, an actress and director of the E.R. Kaminska State Yiddish Theatre. Memory can be saved o­nly when the past is not passively pondered, but when all that grows out of it is brought into the light. The current seat of the Shalom Foundation is Grzybowski Square in Warsaw. This is not a chance address. In Jewish Warsaw -"Varshe," as the heroes of Isaac Bashevis Singer`s tales would refer to it -Grzybowski Square was a place around which there bustled a toilsome, fast paced Jewish life. And then there was o­nly silence. The stillness of death, and the silence of witnesses. We, who established the Shalom Foundation, have never made peace with the annihilation of that world. We have determined that we will save its image from oblivion. Not o­nly for sentimental reasons, but rather out of conviction that the rescue of memory is at o­nce also a task for the future, the fulfillment of the last will of generations of Polish Jewry who came before us, who dreamed of a Europe and a world free of prejudice, hatred, intolerance and xenophobia. To the founders of this Foundation, members of the Holocaust`s second generation, it seemed extraordinarily important to include the legacy of our ancestors in our task of building the future. For everyone, as Dr. Korczak reminded us in his tales, deserves at least a little bit of happiness.


Structure of the Foundation


General Director - Golda Tencer

Board Members:
Chana Blumsztajn
Ryvka Slomka Ostaszewski
Dawid Szurmiej
Golda Tencer
Janusz Tencer
North American Representative - Lilka Elbaum

Programme Council:
Lilka Elbaum
Ernestyna Haselnus - Winnicka
Sonia Klener
Simon Koziel
Henry Lewkowicz
Chemia Nisenbaum
Michał Potok
Lina Rotmensz
Maria Szumanski
Alexander Tencer
Erik Tencer