News & Blog

  • 31 Jan 2015 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    Raise the Roof 


    A feature documentary about the rebuilding of an

    18th-century Polish wooden synagogue 





  • 26 Jan 2015 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    Solidarity According to Women 


    A Documentary Film About Polish Women

    Who Fought Against Communism


     by Marta Dzido and Piotr Śliwowski



    "Despite threats that their children would go to orphanages if they did not cooperate with the [Communist] regime, and despite attempts to destroy their marriages and offers to help them leave the country to stop their undermining the system, there were women who risked their lives to fight Communism.  When men were locked up during martial law women continued the fight."


    In January 2012, Polish directors Marta Dzido and Piotr Śliwowski began their work on the feature-length documentary entitled Solidarity According to Women. The movie tells the story of the forgotten Polish heroines in the anti-Communist opposition movement of the 1980s: Jadwiga Chmielowska, Anna Dodziuk, Joanna Duda-Gwiazda, Janina Jankowska Henryka Krzywonos, Ewa Kubasiewicz, Barbara Labuda, Helena Łuczywo, Ewa Ossowska, Zofia Romaszewska, Bożena Rybicka, Grażyna Staniszewska, Jadwiga Staniszkis, Ludwika Wujec, Ewa Zydorek, and others whose wisdom, determination, and courage helped overthrow the oppressive political system in Poland. Director Marta Dzido, who is also the narrator, writes about women who were too often written out of this crucial part of Polish history.


    Beginning with its first screening on January 10, 2015, Solidarity According to Women will be shown in major movie theaters across Poland. (See trailers below)


    Shana Penn, Vice President, San Francisco–Kraków Sister Cities Association, Deputy Honorary Consul for the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area, and author of Solidarity’s Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland (University of Michigan Press 2005, newly published as Sekret Solidarności by W.A.B. in Warsaw), congratulates Marta Dzido and Piotr Śliwowski on behalf of the SF-Krakow Sister Cities Association and encourages everyone to see the film as it becomes available.



    Solidarity According to Women

    is the first full-length documentary

    co-financed by crowd funding: 



     Film Supporters:


    Institute Of National Remembrance

    Adam Mickiewicz Institute

    Silesia Film Commission

    European Solidarity Centre

    Ministry Of Culture And National Heritage

    Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation

    International Visegrad Fund

    Heinrich Böll Stiftung

    Obiektyw-Na Foundation


    About the Directors


    Marta Dzido, writer, documentary filmmaker and film editor


    Ms. Dzido studied at the Polish Film School in Łódź and made her debut with a novella, A Mark Left by Mom, published in the anthology “Proza życia” (The Prose of Life 2003; reissued as a separate book in 2006). Her debut novel, entitled “Małż” (The Clam 2005), was followed by a hypertext, “Matrioszka” (2013). “Ślad po mamie” and “Małż” have been translated into Vietnamese, and all three of her books have been adapted to the theater.


    Marta Dzido has served as director of photography for the documentary Underground Women’s State (2009) and co-directed (with Piotr Śliwowski) Downtown, a documentary that won the Hollywood Eagle Award in 2011.


    Piotr Śliwowski, filmmaker, producer, reporter


    From 2005 until 2012 Mr. Śliwowski worked as a reporter and producer for TVP Kultura – a popular culture channel on Polish TV. His first movie was the documentary entitled Downtown (2010) -- co-directed and produced with Marta Dzido.


    Mr. Śliwowski is also a director and producer of the historical documentary series Independent Culture in the Polish People's Republic  (2010). He also participated in an artistic film project Repetition (recreation of Zimbardo's experiment) by Artur Zmijewski (Biennale, Venice, 2005).



     Trailer in English with Polish Subtitles


    Trailer in Polish

  • 04 Jan 2015 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    Hanukkah-Christmas Tree Project of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków



    On December 18, 2014, the Machers (Kraków Jewish Culture Festival Volunteers) and Mi Polin (art duo: Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar) surprised the Kazimierz District of the City of Kraków with Hanukkah-Christmas Trees.  Christmas trees on Brzozowa square in the formerly Jewish Kazimierz district of Kraków were secretly decorated with beautifully designed and glittering menorahs, stars of David, dreidls, and snowmen, in addition to traditional tree ornaments associated with the Christian celebration of Christmas.

    The glass Christmas-Hanukkah tree decorations reflect their shapes on the walls of the houses surrounding the district square in Kazimierz.

    Passersby were intrigued by the spectacle.

    The purpose of this project is to highlight the dual Jewish-Christian character of the district of Kazimierz.


    More Photos











  • 03 Jan 2015 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    On December 6 at Stanford University, Taube Hillel House (Hillel is the foundation for Jewish campus life at colleges) reverberated with the beats of Polish DJs at its annual "Light It Up" Hanukkah party. Brought for the first time to California by the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków (which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next Summer), "From Poland with Beat" fosters cross-cultural musical exchanges and brings the experience of the Kraków Jewish Culture Festival to new communities. The first performance took place in Tel Aviv, and subsequent presentations were held at Hillel at Stanford and other venues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    The Polish DJ collectives, Easy Cheesy and MLDV, mixed the best of Israeli, European, Turkish, and Arabic vintage music with the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s -- the golden era of the Polish music scene. Young Jews and Poles living in the Bay Area, part of the modern and growing Polish diaspora, crowded into Stanford University's Hillel and celebrated all night, joining line dances and eating traditional Polish and Jewish treats. 

    The event was sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the City of Kraków, in partnership with Hillel at Stanford, the San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association (supported by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture), and Taube Philanthropies.
    Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies, said:  "This party epitomizes the dialogue we want to create between the sister cities of San Francisco and Kraków. We want the younger generation of Jews to see their connections to Poland, where 85% of North American Jews have their roots." 

    Said a Hillel student, “We have been waiting for such an event for a long time. Thank you for bringing this experience to us!” The Kraków Jewish Culture Festival, Hillel at Stanford, and Taube Philanthropies hope to make this party an annual event.


    Photo Gallery

  • 02 Jan 2015 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    Press Release:  70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz 


    The upcoming 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau will be commemorated in front of the Death Gate of KL Auschwitz II–Birkenau on 27th January 2015. The organisers of the commemoration are the International Auschwitz Council and the Auschwitz Memorial. The commemoration will be held under the patronage of President Bronisław Komorowski, who will also be present during the ceremony. This year, the focus of the event will be on the remaining Auschwitz survivors, three of whom will give public speeches. Following the decision of the International Auschwitz Council, the programme will not feature speeches from politicians.

    In the run up to this important event, the Auschwitz Memorial has prepared a set of basic, though not always universally known, facts regarding the concentration camp. They are designed to help prepare materials and to avoid slip-ups, which include the commonly used, misleading phrases “Polish death camps” and “death camps in Poland”. These terms falsify history. Auschwitz-Birkenau was established and managed by the order of Nazi German authorities.

    It is true that before the outbreak of World War II, Auschwitz (Oświęcim) was a Polish city; however the KL Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was German and it was established on a territory by then directly incorporated into the German Reich. This is an important distinction to make, as otherwise one runs the risk of unintentionally blurring historical truth about some of the most horrific crimes perpetrated in the 20th century.

    To further highlight the sensitivity of this subject, on 27th June 2007, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO changed the name of the Auschwitz-Birkenau heritage site to: "the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German concentration and extermination camp 1940-1945".

    When referring to the past:
    Polish death camp - > advised form: Nazi German death camp
    Death camp in Poland - > advised form: Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland

    When referring to the present:
    Auschwitz death camp in Poland - > advised form: Auschwitz Memorial, now in Poland

    1. The programme of the commemoration and other information is available at the portal
    2. Information about the camp - media pack prepared by the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau can be found here.
    3. IPN portal dedicated to historical knowledge about Nazi German labour, concentration, and extermination camps:
    4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs portal "Against Polish camps":…/foreign_policy/against_polish_camps/
    5. Hundreds of documents and photos that are being stored in the archive of the Auschwitz Memorial are being presented by the Google Cultural Institute.

    Konrad Jagodziński
    Public Relations Specialist
    Public Diplomacy, Media & Communications
    Embassy of The Republic of Poland
    47 Portland Place
    London W1B 1JH


  • 30 Dec 2014 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Children's University



    Three leaders of the Children's University, headquartered in Kraków, are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area under the leadership of Agata Wilam and two colleagues, Agnieszka Napora and Ewa Golik.


    Children’s University would like to establish ties with local elementary and middle school teachers and administrators, especially those from public schools.  With the help of scientists, artists, inventors, and professors, they are developing lessons plans and educational resources to share with educators, in both English and Polish.  They also organize Saturday morning lectures with distinguished faculty at Polish universities for thousands of youth.


    If you would like to learn more or assist with their efforts to promote creativity and innovation among youth both in Poland and the San Francisco Bay Area, please contact Sister Cities President, John Henry Fullen.










  • 18 Dec 2014 9:41 AM | Anonymous

    Łowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble of San Francisco presented its 11th annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert on Friday, December 12, 2014 with sponsorship from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.  Guests were treated to a rich tapestry of seasonal carols and winter songs (including Christmas) from East-Central Europe and the Balkans.  Traditionally-costumed community artists represented Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Jewish, Moldovan, Polish, and Ukrainian holiday traditions.



    Facebook Photos

  • 13 Nov 2014 12:56 PM | Anonymous

    Looted Art Conference Underway in Kraków



    Related documentary film:  Rape of Europa

 SF-Kraków Sister Cities Association
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