On February 6, 2018, an Exhibition Bet Almin – House of Eternity opened at the Jewish Cemetery in Bródno, Warsaw. The guest were welcomed by Anna Chipczyńska – President of the Board of the Warsaw Jewish Community, followed by Gideon Nissenbaum – President of the Nissenbaum Family Foundation; representative of the Office of the President of Poland – Jakub Beczek; Hadasa Nissan – Cultural Attaché at the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw and the Chief Rabbi of Poland – Michael Schudrich. To commemorate those buried at the cemetery El Male Rachamim “God full of Mercy” Prayer was recited by Rabbi Oriel Zaretsky.
Until recently, Bródno Cemetery was an almost unknown place despite the fact that it is the oldest and the biggest in terms of burials Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw. It was established in 1780by Szmul Jakubowicz Zbytkower. There are 320,000 people buried there.Presently the cemetery’s size is 14 ha. In the 1980’s Nissenbaum Family Foundation took care of the neglected and forgotten cemetery. In 2012 the cemetery was given to the Warsaw Jewish Community. During the last few years we managed to finish the construction of the fence, renovate the main gate and prepare an exhibition presenting the history of this special place and burial customs in Judaism – said Anna Chipczyńska, President of the Board of the Warsaw Jewish Community.
The exhibition consists of two parts. One presents the history of the Praga Cemetery, second presents concepts of death and burial in Jewish tradition, religion and culture.
It present the role of the cemetery in Jewish world, forms of tombstones’ inscriptions and their symbolism’ the ritual of burial and Shivah – the period of mourning. I am convinced that it will interest those who are not familiar with this topic, as well as experts on the subject. I hope that Bródno Jewish Cemetery will become an important place on the map of Jewish Warsaw – said Anna Chipczyńska.
The House of Eternity Exhibition was created between 2016 and 2017 by teams of Kolektyw Senna and Warsaw Jewish Community, and financed by the Warsaw Jewish Community. It was also supported financially by the Nissenbaum Family Foundation.
Creators of Bet Almin – House of Eternity
Exhibition concept – Natalia Romik, Sebastian Kucharuk, Piotr Jakoweńko
Architectural design of the exhibition – Sebastian Kucharuk
Graphic design of the exhibition – Piotr Jakoweńko
Texts and selection of illustrations – Remigiusz Sosnowski, Andrzej Jankowski, Agata Korba
Curators of the exhibition – Agata Korba, Remigiusz Sosnowski, Andrzej Jankowski
Authors of selected texts – Alicja Mroczkowska, Aleksander Schwarz, Witold Wrzosiński
Query of press texts in Yiddish and their translation – Anna Ciałowicz