Message from the ADJCP Founding Group
The concept of a regional organization of descendants developed out of an initiative to visit the districts of Wloclawek, Gostynin, and Kutno in order to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the destruction of the region’s Jewish communities during the Shoah. About 60 JewishGen researchers responded to the initial invitation, including 16 who volunteered as consultants for the planning of the Spring 2022 trip. In those early exchanges, some participants proposed the creation of a more permanent organization that would allow us to develop other activities related to the cultural heritage of the region’s shtetls. After studying the options, a subcommittee of 9 participants suggested ideas for possible activities and recommended the establishment of the Association of Descendants of Jewish Central Poland – ADCJP.
As members of the volunteer Founding Group, we have worked during the last few months on making the recommendation a reality. We have concentrated on three basic tasks: defining the initial framework for the ADJCP’s lines of activity and organizational structure, preparing the launching of the ADJCP’s exchange mailinglist and website, and filing the paperwork to legally incorporate the ADJCP as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. The materials posted in this temporary website reflect our progress so far.
In its initial phase, the ADJCP will be mainly focused on the 17 towns that will be visited during the Spring 2022 memorial trip. Its initiatives will develop gradually, depending on the participants’ disposition to support and get involved in the proposed activities. Today, genealogical and historical interest and research are sparkling a new kind of Jewish activism in which the descendants of vanished communities are coming together to appreciate, preserve and honor the cultural heritage of the great Jewish civilization that developed in Poland and Eastern Europe at large. In the aftermath of the Shoah, our parents and grandparents’ landsmanschaften (organizations of same-shtetl emigres and survivors) did their best to maintain the memory of that civilization alive, publishing the hundreds of yizkor books that memorialize the life and destruction of their communities in Yiddish and Hebrew. But the world of those landsmanschaften is also gone, and it is up to us, the new generations, to carry the torch of remembrance.
We are convinced that the formation of regional organizations of descendants like the ADJCP opens a realistic, promising path to those who want to raise to the challenge of rediscovering and ensuring the future preservation of the legacy of our ancestral Jewish communities. You are warmly invited to join us in this worthy undertaking.
Association of Descendants of Jewish Central Poland – ADJCP
N.B., Roberta Books, Ken Drabinsky, Marysia Galbraith, Rita Kashub, Moshe Zaideman, and Leon Zamosc