WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Polish Culture Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski and Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz were awarded the Irena Sendler Memorial Award.
The award is given by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture. Wednesday’s ceremony was held at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
Zdrojewski said at the ceremony that the museum is the most important embassy of two nations, Polish and Jewish, and that education was a vital purpose.
“It should also be the university of empathy, sensitivity, tolerance, openness, history,” he said.
Gronkiewicz-Waltz said she “was very determined to build this museum.”
“It seemed to me that it would be a very special place of communion and reconciliation,” she said.
During the ceremony, Shana Penn, executive director of the Taube Foundation, received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.
Since 2008, the Irena Sendler Memorial Award has been given to Poles who have contributed to the preservation of Jewish heritage and the promotion of Jewish culture in Poland.
Among the previous recipients is former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.