About Us


The Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland [TSKZ] was founded on 29 October 1950 as a result of a merger between the Central Committee of Jews in Poland and the Jewish Cultural Society.

Few Jews who survived the Holocaust faced a question on whether they should stay in Poland or rather emigrate, which was a very complex decision. Much respect is due to members of that generation of Jews, since despite being alienated and wounded, they were still willing to revive their community in Poland. They wanted to accomplish that not only by contributing to the development of the socialist system, but mostly by treating Poland as their homeland. This was a highly traumatised generation whose members just wanted to survive, love, and rebuild their shattered lives in a brand new world. They still considered themselves as Jews and foster their unique national identity, but at the same time, they also wanted to be perceived as Poles. The TSKZ helped Jews to accomplish these objectives. The new life, although still overwhelmed by the shadow of the Holocaust, has begun. 

One of the TSKZ’s priorities was preservation of the Jewish cultural heritage and the Yiddish language. This objective was accomplished by publishing  books, newspapers, and commemorating the major Jewish cultural figures. Bernard Mark, a Jewish activist, aware of the phenomenon of the cultural assimilation of the Jewish youth once said: “Young people do not have to speak Yiddish – yet, they should have a proper attitude towards it”. The Yiddish language was obviously spoken at Jewish theatres linked to the TSKZ, both professional and amateur ones, as well as at libraries, and readers’ clubs.

The TSKZ continued the mission initiated by the Central Committee of Jews in Poland which supported the survivors of the Holocaust trying to trace down their lost relatives. Interpersonal contacts established at that time had a great role in consolidating the Jewish community. Many Jews visited the TSKZ’s clubs not only on special occasions, but also on a daily basis. Each TSKZ member surely recollects people gathering together at local clubs to play cards, chess, dominoes, or just chat about their everyday problems. These chats and gatherings have soon turned into a special ritual. Apart from full-fledged members, club visitors also included non-associated Jews and their Polish friends. 

"I guess that we can say that the TSKZ eventually enabled Polish Jews to reunite. Those people lost everything they had during the war: they lost their close ones, their children and all their belongings. And when they returned to Poland, the TSKZ offered them a chance to take a deep breath and get a bit of entertainment. And a chance to meet others who shared very similar experiences"
– Larissa Baldovin

The TSKZ hosted a number of interest groups in such areas as music, fine arts, theatre, chess or photography. Such interest groups often attracted young people who gathered together at the so-called Children-and-Youth Clubs in order to develop their talents and interests. Many TSKZ members share very enjoyable memories of that period. The Children-and-Youth Clubs were managed by a team of highly-qualified coaches, skilled teachers and tutors, who were highly valued both by children and their parents. In their spare time, young people used to attend home parties where they played at their own big-beat bands. Some representatives of the young generation regarded the Clubs as their second homes. Many young Jews impatiently waited for summer camps which were organised each year and definitely helped to create powerful interpersonal bonds which survived throughout the years.

The TSKZ also operated as a publishing house. The major daily newspaper issued by the TSKZ was Folks-shtime [Voice of the People] published in Yiddish. After a couple of years, a Polish supplement titled Nasz Głos [Our Voice] was added. The supplement was mainly targeted at the young people. Moreover, since 1991 we have been publishing a monthly magazine “Słowo Żydowskie – Dos Jidisze Wort”. For many years, Jewish newspapers have been a vaulable source of information on daily affairs of the TSKZ community. At the same time, for Jews living abroad, the magazine has served as the main link connecting them to their compatriots in Poland. A unique global-scale phenomenon was the Jidysz Buch Publishing House. Founded in 1947, the House was later incorporated into the TSKZ and was regarded as its integral part until 1968. Over that period, ca. 350 books in the Yiddish language were published, including works by the major classical writers (Icchok Lejb Perec, Sholem Aleichem) and translations of the greatest Polish and international literary pieces. The published output included books by contemporary writers (e.g.  Eljohu Rajzman, Hadasa Rubin, Jankew Zonszajna, Dowid Sfard, Lejb Olicki), Yiddish language textbooks and memoirs of the Holocaust survivors. Ca. one million of printed copies issued by Jidysz Buch have been distributed among readers worldwide.


March 1968 turned out to be a serious setback not only for the TSKZ, but also for the entire Jewish community in Poland. As a result of those events and the mass emigration of Polish Jews in the 1970s, when the hitherto abundant social, artistic and cultural life gradually died down, the TSKZ had to change its focus towards more community-related problems i.e. taking care of abandoned elderly parents of emigrants, who lost their hope for a quick reunions with their close ones, meeting their grandchildren or coming back to normality. The main task ahead of local TSKZ branches was to find a good way of bridging such gaps. 

"Our task at the Club was to make those who did not decide to emigrate feel more at home. The Club was the place where they could meet their ‘newly adopted’ relatives, as their real children and grandchildren were far away, and they had neither strength, nor money, to visit them abroad
– Róża Król 


During 70 years of its history, the TSKZ has been focusing not only on club operations, but also cooperated eagerly with a number of other organisations and institutions. We have always been staunch supporters of valuable social initiatives aiming at promoting the Jewish culture by launching various cultural and community projects, or providing financial support to publishers, exhibitions, museums and libraries. We also try to stay in touch with those who emigrated from Poland in March 1968.

One of the TSKZ’s core objectives, pursued since its origins, is preserving the memory of the Holocaust. The key historical event celebrated by the Association is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Each year the TSKZ members gather together at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Muranów, Warsaw, to pay tribute to the heroic insurgents. The TSKZ’s delegates take part in historic celebrations held at former German death camps, as well as in cultural events commemorating the Kielce Pogrom and Kristallnacht. Since 2011 we have been hosting the so-called DAYS OF REMEMBRANCE, a periodic event held in Łódź, being part of celebrations of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 

Being aware of the fact that the number of Jews inhabiting the today’s Poland is very small, we pay a lot of attention to community-building. Our community-building efforts include, most of all, cultivating national traditions, which can nowadays be accomplished for e.g. by a joint celebration of various holidays. The most popular of such traditional events is Grand Family Picnic at Śródborowianka Centre which commemorates the Israeli Independence Day, where members of local TSKZ branches scattered throughout all Poland can get together.









Currently the TSKZ operates 14 local branches. As a result of the political transformation which occurred in 1989, the Jewish community also underwent substantial changes  – a number of new organisations and new people appeared. Nevertheless, the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland is still the biggest Jewish organisation, disposing of considerable facilities and taking pride in long-term practical experience in supporting local Jewish communities. TSKZ members and supporters are the main readership target of only bilingual monthly in Poland “Słowo Żydowskie / Dos Jidisze Wort” devoted to social and cultural topics and published in the Polish and Yiddish languages. 

The TSKZ’s affairs are managed by the General Board composed of nine members elected by the General Meeting of Delegates. The Board also coordinates the operations of TSKZ’s local branches, which are also supervised by their own managing bodies. The TSKZ has got its own Conference and Holiday Centre named Śródborowianka, which is located in Otwock, in the midst of a pine forest and on the verge of the Mazovian Landscape Park. The Centre is a regular meeting venue for members of the Jewish community spread across Poland. In summertime, the place turns into a holiday resort which is  eagerly visited by many Jewish emigrants who left Poland long time ago. Śródborowianka plays an important role in the process of reintegration of the dispersed Jewish community.

Despite the fact that the today’s Jewish community is far less numerous than it used to be in the past, its members still try to achieve many goals and confront many challenges. Over the centuries of the Jewish presence in Poland, poweful ties between the Polish and Jewish cultures have been established. Protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Polish seems to be a highly important task, just like further development and promotion of the Jewish culture both among Jews and Poles. Taking part is this process is currently the crucial challenge ahead of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland.

You may support TSKZ by making a donation to support our statutory activity
The Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland
Account No. 03 10201097 0000 7502 0287 4675
Transfer Name: donation to support our statutory purposes