May 2013 PSA on a tour of the AJC with Shlomi Shaked. Photo by Dara Bramson.

Hometown: Holon, Israel

What attracted you to the AJC? 
This was not my first time at the AJC, so I already knew the place and how beautiful and important it is. During my military service in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], my mother, who was born in Oświęcim, suggested that I come to the AJC and be a volunteer. After I was released from the army I decided to make her suggestion a reality. Moreover, I believe that by coming back to Oświęcim, my family’s historical home, and giving tours in the museum and synagogue, my family history is coming full circle: my grandfather, Solomon Kuperman, who I am named after, was the rabbi of the synagogue after WWII until 1955. 

What did you enjoy most about your volunteer experience? 
The best part of volunteering at the AJC is that I meet people from all over the world, from different backgrounds, and religions. It is really interesting to discuss the history of Oświęcim and hear other people’s stories. For many people coming to the AJC, it is their first “Jewish” experience – they learn so much about the Jewish history of Oświęcim and a lot about Judaism in general. I can only hope that with this new knowledge people will understand cultural and religious differences, whether about Jews or other groups, and help to make this world more accepting.  

How has volunteering here affected you? 
Volunteering at the AJC helped me improve my communication with new people. Guiding tours let me express myself openly in front of people, and of course I had the opportunity to make many new friends. During these five months, I experienced and learned so many things, including new information about my own religion, Judaism; I also became familiar with other cultures and daily life abroad. Now I understand how much work should be done in order to make this world less racist, and I deeply believe that volunteering at the AJC was the first step towards this goal. 

What is one thing you’d like others to know about the AJC or think people don’t know? 
The AJC is a place that will continue developing and be a place where individuals can experience new and amazing things. The AJC is one big family, which welcomes everyone.

AJC Volunteers (L-R) Shlomi Shaked (Israel), Glib Pronskikh (Ukraine), Johannes Fe (Germany), Dominik Reiterer (Austria)

 

The Auschwitz Jewish Center is operated by the Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. For additional blog entries by and about the Auschwitz Jewish Center, please visit mjhnyc.org/tag/ajc. All Summer 2013 newsletter articles are found here.