Poland Personally

Poland Personally

Local teens and educators tell their story from the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008 when they embarked on the journey of their lives to Poland.

“Poland Personally—Private Reflections on a Holocaust Study Tour,” a photographic exhibit with personal artifacts accompanied by short writings, will open Monday, March 2, at Pittsburgh CAPA High School on Ninth Street, Downtown.

The installation explores the diverse personal experiences and artistic reflections of 15 teenagers and 11 adult educators who expressed their perceptions from the Agency for Jewish Learning’s 2006, 2007 and 2008 Study Tours to Poland.

One photo shows a happy go lucky young teenage boy walking in the middle of an open field on a railroad track with his arms stretched out holding his sweatshirt sleeves, as if he were a bird flying freely over the tracks. Far away in the distance appears to be a large gathering of people.

“I think this is probably the best publicity shot for this exhibition”, Dror Yaron, exhibit art director, said in a statement about Shady Side Academy graduate Lianne Sufrin’s photograph. “It’s intriguing, especially in the context of the Birkenau death camp.”

A close up of a blood shot eye with the reflection of a camera in the eye’s pupil is “a great representation of our theme—the personal point of view,” remarks Yaron of Winchester Thurston graduate Hermine Harrison’s photograph used as the exhibit’s logo.

Jews and non-Jews, students and educators, have traveled together through Poland on AJL Study Tours for many reasons, some to find new meaning in a family history, others to search for a better grasp of the Holocaust and 20th century history.

Poland, Personally is funded by The Lester E. Zittrain Philanthropic Fund of the United Jewish Federation Foundation. The Agency for Jewish Learning’s Poland Study Tour was funded by the Glimcher Fellows Endowment Fund and the Amos and Ethel Comay Endowment Fund, both of the United Jewish Federation Foundation.