Welcome! Let’s do this.

Hello Internet world!  Greetings from Poland.  Thanks for joining me here on this day-by-day blog of my training program at the Auschwitz-Birkemau State Museum.  For those of you who don’t know who I am, let’s fix that: I’m JJ Przewozniak, and at my job at The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, I keep myself pretty busy doing all kinds of exciting work in service to our Polish legacy.  Wether it’s networking with contacts, working on new exhibitions, or developing our own collections here in Orchard Lake, I consider what I do for a living a vocation, and an extraordinary privilege, So I do it with gusto!

No small part of the success of The Polish Mission is due to our cooperation with organizations and institutions across the pond In Poland, and one of the most celebrated partnerships is that with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum of Poland.  (I’ll be abbreviating that to A-BSM from time to time throughout this digital tome).  We were chosen by A-BSM Director Dr. Piotr Cywinski a few years ago to not just enter cooperation, but to become exclusive American partners, in order to convey the educational message of Auschwitz to American audiences.  Amazing, right?  Presenting a stream of education with the support and authority of the world’s most recognizable symbol of the Holocaust is a most proud point at which we’ve arrived, and we’re excited to develop this position more and more.  Throughout all this, I’ve taken on the role of North American project manager for the Forbidden Art exhibition, and after touring the country for the past year or so, we’ve got some big plans for 2015.  Making them happen however, involves a special role for yours truly, and that’s why I’m here!

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll be trained here at A-BSM to become a liaison of the state museum’s educational philosophy to the American community.  What that means is, that through the support of the Edward and Josephine Wikiera Foundation and the generosity of the the State Museum at Auschwitz,  I’ll be spending time with department heads, and working on educational projects to gain an in-depth view of the inner workings and philosophy of one of the world’s top museums.  Through all this, and especially through the hallowed authenticity of the Auschwitz site, I’ll come home with new perspectives on this sensitive area of education, new ideas for cooperative projects, and truly rare sense of purpose.

So, anyone can see that this an amazing experience for me!  I’m excited to learn!  Excited to experience working at a UNESCO world heritage site!  And excited to bring these experiences to you, via my blog here.  I’ll be writing regularly, and I hope that you’ll join me by subscribing or just following along.  In closing, I want to mention a few people who made this possible.  Firstly, Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywinski, who’s director of A-BSM, along with my boss, Polish Mission director Marcin Chumiecki are at the top of the list for undertaking this cooperation in the first place!  Marcin’s vision for education in America, and the great trust of Dr. Cywinski have cast the foundation upon which all of our successes lie.  The Orchard Lake Schools leadership, Chancellor-Rector Msgr. Tom Machalski and Vice Chancellor Tony Koterba, are to thank for supporting this cooperation since day one.  Finally, Polish Mission Chairman Dr. Stan Majewski, whose guidance and principles have always been our compass, has my deep thanks for his blessing, on what’s sure to be an experience I’ll never forget.