New approaches towards the preservation of historical synagogues in Poland, including the introduction of the virtual tour of FODZ synagogue in Łańcut for participants of this year’s International March of the Living
The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) was established by the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) in 2002. Our mission is to protect surviving Jewish heritage sites and monuments in Poland. The Foundation is active in regions which are remote from major cities and thus difficult for Jewish communities to reach and to provide adequate care and maintenance of sites and objects in these localities. Our area of operation covers nearly two thirds of Poland. The Foundation’s tasks include the protection of Jewish heritage sites of special historical significance, restitution of former Jewish communal property, management of the reclaimed properties as well as cultural and educational activities related to Jewish culture.
The nearly 20 years long experience of FODZ in managing synagogue buildings results in the following conclusion that in order to ensure permanent preservation and commemoration of these sites, various forms of care are needed which should emerge from the cooperation with various partners representing: local authorities and local civil society associations that carry out their statutory activities in these facilities, as well as international partners, among them individual sponsors.
Currently, FODZ is in talks with selected partners (including representatives of local authorities) aimed at agreeing on the possibility of permanent preservation of synagogues in towns of Orla and Łęczna, with the assumption that these facilities would be used in the future as: a center for the promotion of intercultural dialogue through artistic meetings and cultural events (Orla) and a local cultural center with the assumption that it would be possible to use it for exhibition purposes as well as for the organization of performances and other artistic meetings (Łęczna). According to current assessments, in the absence of prospects for restoring these buildings to their original ritual function, opening them to be serve the needs of local residents and visitors to these towns is the only viable way to protect them permanently.
Documenting objects using digital techniques represents a forward-looking and innovative form of synagogue preservation for the benefit of future generations. With this in mind, in 2020 FODZ has started to cooperate on such a project which opens up new prospects for preserving cemeteries and making them available to a wider audience.
Our partner in thisundertaking is a private company from Poznań: "Skanowanie.xyz". As a part of our cooperation, a virtual tour of the Łańcut synagogue was prepared for those interested in visiting this historic site without the hassle of a plane ride. The tour is available at:
We encourage participants of this year’s International March of the Living to venture on a tour of Łańcut to visit both the synagogue as well as the local Jewish cemetery.