Ukraine and our Jewish experience

Like the rest of you, we are fixated and horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine — the murder of civilians and the destruction of communities and institutions. One can’t avoid seeing the parallels to the eve of WWII, when Nazi armies invaded Poland, and our Gombiner landsleyt either fled or faced imprisonment and death in the ghetto. We are once again witnessing an era of tyranny and its consequences. Millions of Ukrainian refugees are seeking safety in Poland and some have already reached Gąbin despite its location west of Warsaw. 

New partnerships in Gabin

Coincidentally, over the last year, the Gombin Society has been developing connections to the Polish leaders in Gąbin’s schools and civic organizations who have shown a renewed interest in Gąbin’s Jewish heritage and culture. We have recently finalized agreements with both the Staszica School Complex and the “Together We Can Do More” (Razem) organization to carry out educational projects related to this Jewish history. We will post updates to our website to keep members informed about our educational and civic activities. 

New initiatives

We are writing now to make the membership aware of important new partnership initiatives linking these past and current events: (1) 80th Year Commemoration of the destruction of Gombin’s Jewish Community and (2) A joint Appeal to support Ukrainian refugees and resistors.

80th Year Commemoration of Gombin’s Jewish Community:  April 22 and 24, 2022 in Gąbin

On the weekend of April 22-24, 2022, the Gombin Society will partner with Polish organizations and the Gąbin and Płock governments to remember the destruction of the Jewish community that occurred in 1942, when the last 2300 Jews from the Gąbin ghetto were deported and murdered at Chełmno.

The commemoration will include a multi-part program at the Staszic School Complex, including speakers from the Mazovian Jewish Museum in Płock, a panel discussion with visiting Gombiner descendants from the USA and UK, music and poetry and presentation of student-made posters commemorating the Jewish Community of Gąbin.

On Sunday, a solemn community march will begin at the Old Town Square site of the plaque and proceed to the Jewish Cemetery and the Firemen’s Field, from which Jews were transported to their deaths. Political and religious leaders, teachers and students, and community members will participate. Names of those who perished will be read aloud.

Following these activities, a zoom video meeting (Virtual Gombin #11) will be available for those of us who are unable to travel to Gąbin. More to come, including invite registration and information.

Gąbin Appeal to support Ukraine

The Gombin Society Board is launching an appeal for funds to support the efforts of our Gąbin partner organizations to support Ukraine. Gąbiners are already sending medicines and supplies to Ukraine and hosting families- especially the women and children who have been evacuated from war zones. We can help. The Gombin Society Board has approved an immediate donation of $2500 and we hope to quickly raise up to $10,000 for these rescue efforts. Please contribute generously. Donate online or to Gombin Society, 933 N. Patterson Ave., Santa Barbara CA 93111. Click here to read the Teraz Gabin newspaper story about Gąbin’s efforts to assist Ukrainians. 

More information will follow soon. Join our mailing list for email updates.