What attracted you to the AJC?
I found it extremely interesting that not many people know there is a town next to Auschwitz. I barely knew the region and I wanted to learn about the history. As an Austrian, I found that this aspect of European history was not taught to us enough, especially that Jews were a major part of Polish culture.
What are you enjoying most about your volunteer experience?
The word “fun” may not be used often with such a volunteer work, but the different groups that come are engaging and make the experience meaningful. The most valuable part of the experience is our teamwork; teamwork will always make the experience more fun and worthwhile. The best part is the work that I am doing: leading tours, meeting new people, and learning everyday.
How has volunteering affected you?
Working at the AJC has helped me mature personally and professionally. I’ve learned to adapt to changes and people. I feel more responsible and know how to face challenges more efficiently than I had before this experience.
What is one thing you’d like others to know about the AJC or think people don’t know?
First, I always want people to know that even though the name is the Auschwitz Jewish Center, the center is not in Auschwitz, but in Oświęcim. Even though it is a small place, we have a lot to offer like a functioning synagogue, an exhibition with a rich history about Jews in the town, an educational center, and of course, Café Bergson, which has become an important meeting place for the community.
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 2015 newsletter articles are found here.