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On November 20, 2008, a meeting dedicated to the Jewish cuisine, along with a promotion of a book ‘Leczna in the Light of the Shabbat Candles’ (“Łęczna w blasku szabasowych świec”), published by the local 'Plama' Association of the Creators of Culture and Art, will take place in Leczna (lubelskie province). The participants will learn the history and meaning of numerous traditional dishes and most important Jewish holidays. They also will have a chance to taste Jewish dishes prepared by the 'Mandragora' restaurant from Lublin. The meeting will take place in the Leczna Culture Center located at Obroncow Pokoju St 1.

The action will be realized within the frames of the 'Leczna. Common Past, Two Cultures' project, thanks to the financial support of the Town Office of Leczna and 'Research on the Attitude Towards Jews and Their Heritage. Cooperation with Local Partners in Selected 15 Towns. Education for Tolerance' program, supported by the Batory Foundation.

Thanks to both projects the inhabitants of Leczna were able to discover the true gems of the Jewish culture while learning the history of their own town. They had opportunity to explore the Sephardic Jewish music, taste traditional Jewish dishes and even to take part in a movie show.  
The goal of the 'Leczna. Common Past, Two Cultures' project, part of the ‘Research on the Attitudes Towards Jews’ program, is to popularize the knowledge of the history and culture of Leczna, particularly of its multicultural aspect. Leczna is one of 15 towns and cities in Poland in which during the 2007-2008 period the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland took actions, including the organization of the multicultural workshops for students and public debates on Jewish heritage and its place in the life of local societies.

One of the enterprises realized within the project was a series of five-hour tolerance and multicultural education workshops for youths, led by Katarzyna Kopff-Muszyńska and Maja Brandt, multicultural educators of the Jagiellonian University. Every workshop was divided into two 2,5-hour blocks; first one was dedicated to the multicultural dialogue, the other one – to the history and culture of the Jewish nation and of the history of the Jews in Leczna. Participating were about 150 students of local Middle and High Schools.

The Jewish cinema was also an important part of the project. On October 22, 2008, the movie "Dybbuk" was shown in the Regional Museum in Leczna (lubelskie province), located in a 17th century synagogue. The movie, dated 1937, tells the story of an unrequited love between two young people living in a traditional Chassidic community. Made entirely in Yiddish and is considered as one of the most important examples of the Polish prewar cinema. The show, which gathered over 50 people, was accompanied by a discussion led by special guests; specialists from the Catholic University of Lublin and Marie-Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin.

On November 7, 2008 a panel discussion dedicated to the intercultural dialogue took place in the former synagogue building in Leczna. Participating were Ph.D. Slawomir J. Zurek, Professor of the Catholic University in Lublin, Ph.D. Adam Kopciowski of the Marie Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, and Rev. Stanislaw Korona. 65 inhabitants of Leczna came to the meeting. During the first part of the meeting the results of actions taken in Leczna were presented to the public; during the other the invited guests were discussing the matter of the multicultural past of the town and its significance to its present inhabitants. We hope that the discussion revealed Leczna as a leader in intercultural education and a town proud of its multicultural heritage.
The meeting was enriched by a concert of Sephardic music performed by Anya Jagielska.

Those who preferred to discover the Jewish culture while sitting at a table, could participate in one of the meetings dedicated to the Jewish cuisine, involving both tasting traditional dishes and listening to the stories of Jewish culture, holidays and related meals. Preparing and baking matzah was one of the elements of those meetings.
Meetings were led by Ph.D. Robert Kuwalek, specialist in the matter of Jewish culture and history. Meals were provided by the ‘Mandragora’ restaurant from Lublin, which served a typical set of Polish Jewish dishes, cooked everyday in the prewar Leczna (chulent, stewed hen, calf’s liver with onion sauce, gefilte fish, kugel and challah bread).

We cordially invite you to Leczna!

The above events were within the frames of the 'Leczna - Common Past, Two Cultures' project, supported by the Town Office and the 'Research on the Attitude Towards Jews and Their Heritage. Cooperation with Local Partners in Selected 15 Towns. Education for Tolerance' program, supported by the Batory Foundation.

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