by George J Elbaum
Polish Friends of the Forum is an informal group of individuals who understand the importance of Polish/Jewish dialogue and who identify with the mission of Forum for Dialogue and support its programs, enhancing their own understanding and knowledge. Of the 19 attendees at the June 6 event, 7 had just returned from a trip to Israel as part of the Polish/Israeli Leadership Initiative. This program is a platform for cooperation and exchange of ideas for a community of public opinion leaders from Poland and Israel, meeting each year alternatively in Poland and Israel. During each reunion this international group participates in an intense program addressing common issues and concerns related to democracy and civil society.
I was asked by the Forum’s President, Andrzej Folwarczny, to give my presentation to this group at the June 6 meeting, and I did so with only a small difference in that the audience was not teenagers but adults. Their questions, consequently, were also somewhat different, broader, more empathetic, and more focused on the world’s current political and social situation, and these continued afterwards in the hallway over glasses of wine.
The meeting (and the wine) were hosted by Beata Machała, CFO of Gutek Film at Warsaw’s cinema “Muranow”, one of the cinemas with the most interesting and consistent art house repertoire, which also hosts numerous festivals and retrospectives.