16 Days of Action Against Violence based on Gender
This is an international campaign initiated in 1991 by Women’s Global Leadership Institute of Rutgers University. Since that, the campaign has been carried on from 25 November (International Day of Elimination of Vilence Against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day) to stress that women’s rights are equal to human rights. This very day, 25 November, was chosen to commemorate the murder in 1960 under Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic of three Mirabal sisters (Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa).
It is to remember that the violence against women and these inside the families sometimes take different forms but they are similar. It concerns the women of every age and of various social status. In the face of violence women are often helpless and loneliness and they do not know how to find help.
The SI Club of B-B in the framework of this campaign prepared the leaflets informing where in B-B the women who suffer from the violence could find help. The members of our club distributed those informations in the Auchan Gallery in B-B (421, Al. Bohaterów Monte Cassino).
We would like to thank you very much the staff as well as the managers of the Auchan Gallery who look so kindly on our action for their help.
Budapest. 25th Anniversary of SI Club (30th September to 2nd October 2016).
180 soroptimists from almost all over the world (England, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, USA, Switzerland, Italy) took part in that event. Polish clubs were represented by the sisters from SI Bielsko-Biała and Wrocław Clubs.
It was the great honour and a pleasure to represent our club. Ewa Sum in Hungarian language addressed the organizers and congratulated them on their achievements. Sister Ewa presented the activity of SI B-B Club as well. Ewa’s speech has met a warm reception.
The organization of the event as well as the atmosphere were excellent. The accompanying tourist programme was amazing: sightseeing of a beautiful Budapest and a Danube cruise in the fading lights of an autumn’s evening. During the Gala Dinner which took place in the monumental historical building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences the excellent menu was complemented by a good Hungarian wine list. The chamber orchestra played famous csardases and the dancers who first presented Hungarian folk dances invited the participants to join them. We will keep in mind that unforgettable jubilee celebration.
It was very important meeting which enabled skill-sharing and strengthened the integration of women from the whole world and specially from Europe.
with complements form Teresa Studencka, Ewa Sum and Anna Szabert
20th Anniversary of SI Gdańsk Club, 7- 9 October 2016
There are casual and brilliant events. 20th anniversary of SI Gdańsk Club for sure belonged to the second one.
In spite of bad weather over 120 soroptimists met in Gdańsk. They came from Japan (15 women), Belgium (15), the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Israel and from Poland. 77 soroptimists from abroad came to Gdańsk. Polish Union was represented by the sisters from Kraków, Katowice, Warszawa, Olsztyn, Słupsk, Cieszyn, Wrocław and Bielsko-Biała clubs. Renata Trottman Probst, vice-president of SIE Federation, was among the guests and Maria Elisabetta de Franciscis, the president of SIE sent a congratulatory letter. The President of Polish Union, Anna Szeremeta, who could not come, sent a letter to the participants.
It was unusual and wonderfully organized event. Hospitable sisters from Gdańsk took care of us in an exceptional way.
Soroptimists from Gdańsk are not afraid to take up the challenge and, what is much more important, they manage to fulfil the duties. A great variety of their activity is worthy to be stressed, e.g.:
- the international co-operation with their friendship clubs is developped. Together with SI Römerturm in Köln they take part in the European „Let’s Go Green” project and this year new trees have been planted in the Gdańsk University campus;
- in 2016 they received a grant from the SIE Federation to support the next two years of studies of Laura Makena from Kenya who is studying medicine at the Medical University in Gdańsk;
- during our stay in Gdańsk we participated in the concert of famous Polish artists Alicja Majewska and Włodzimierz Korcz, the proceeds of which will go to organize a playroom for the children up to three years old whose mothers are with them in prison in Grudziądz.
The members of SI Gdańsk Club could really inspire us. We wish them good health and a lot of strength for the next long, long years of fruitful activity.
On 16th September we have been invited by Dorota Wiewióra, the Chairperson of the Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biała, to visit a seat of the Community and to listen to the lecture given by Dr. Jacek Proszyk. Doctor Proszyk is a well-known historian and specialist in religious studies who specialized in Judaica. In a very interesting lecture he presented the beginnings of the Jewish settlement in Bielsko which dates back to the middle of 17th c. and showed their importance in a life of a city. In the interwar period of 20th c. the Jewish population made about 20 per cent of the total population of the town. Jacek Proszyk emphasized the exceptional liberalism of Jewish people and their easiness to become assimilated to German inhabitants of Bielsko. Before the WWII the Zionist Organizations were very active there. The outbreak of the WWII changed completely the life of the city. Most of Jews were deported to the Soviet Union. In 1941 German aggressors established the ghetto in the city which was liquidated in June 1942. After the war Jews came back to Bielsko. An independent Jewish Community of B-B nowadays belongs to the Union of Jewish Religious Communities (Polish abbreviation: ZGWŻ). The Social-Cultural Association of Jews in Poland is also operating in the city.
After a lecture and a short discussion we went to the praying room where we acquainted with some Jewish religious objects:
- parochet – usually richly decorated curtain hiding from the front the holy Ark, situated in the eastern wall of the house of prayer, which indicates the direction of Jerusalem;
- tałes – white prayer shawl, usually in black or blue stripes, fringed along the shorter sides, applied to pray;
- zwój Tory – the Torah scroll is a long scroll containing the entire text of the Five Books of Moses, hand-written by a pious scribe in the original Hebrew. It is a core representation of Judaism itself;
- kielich sederowy – richly decorated ritual chalice, used in the Passover;
- jad – rod-shaped hand for easy pointing and reading the excerpts of Torah;
- mezuza – roll of parchment with two passages of the Torah, placed in a container and hang outside of the right side door frame.
It was fruitful and interesting meeting. We are grateful to Dorota Wiewióra for welcoming us.