On January 15 at the Institute for the Culture of Encounter and Dialogue of the Jan Karski Society the opening of the Blessings Room and an exhibition entitled ‘Abraham and Francis’ were held together with the unveiling of a Jan Karski’s bust. The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including Rabbi Abraham Skórka, a friend of Pope Francis, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, Bishop of Kielce, Jan Piotrowski, and mayor of Kielce, Wojciech Lubawski. That extraordinary event began with the unveiling of the bust of Jan Karski by Bogdan Białek, president of the Society, and Wojciech Lubawski. The bust, made of bronze, was created by Professor Karol Badyna, who had donated it to the Society a few days before the event. The artist, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, also made the “Karski’s bench” situated in the main promenade in Kielce.
The grand opening of the Blessings Room was conducted by Bishop Jan Piotrowski, Rabbi Abraham Skórka and Rabbi Michael Schudrich. The Blessings of Peace, selected from the Sermon on the Mount, the Book of Psalms (some fragments of the morning Jewish prayer) and from those delivered by Pope Francis or Rabbi Rami Shapiro and arranged at a special request of Bogdan Białek by Rabbi Abraham Skórka and Bishop Jan Piotrowski, can be read and meditated upon in the Room.
“I am very impressed by everything that is taking place today in Kielce. It is very important for me, but above all it is important for Kielce, which is a city of great significance to the Polish-Jewish history. God bless the organizers for the work that has been done in Kielce”, said Rabbi Abraham Skórka.