Polish Catholic Leader Visits Yad Vashem; Meets Key Religious And Government Officials on Israel Pilgrimage

Jerusalem, March 15, 2010 … A group of 300 Polish pilgrims and their leader, the Archbishop of Cracow, visited Yad Vashem during their time in Israel, arranged by the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Israel Office.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who heads Poland's Catholic-Jewish Dialogue, was the longtime personal secretary and friend to Pope John Paul II, whom he accompanied on the Pope's historic visit to Israel 10 years ago, in March 2000.

Cardinal Dziwisz came to Israel on a journey of remembrance and to promote Catholic-Jewish relations. The Cardinal made a special visit to Yad Vashem, where he placed flowers in the Hall of Remembrance, strolled along the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations and met with Avner Shalev, the Chairman of Yad Vashem, and other officials.

The Cardinal also held meetings with Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Naomi Tsur.

"Poland holds a special significance to the Jewish people," said Abraham H. Foxman, who was born in Poland and saved during the Holocaust by his Polish Catholic nanny. "Today, as anti-Semitism continues to be a serious global problem, it is important that religious leaders follow Cardinal Dziwisz's example of engaging in and promoting Catholic-Jewish and Catholic-Israel relations."

At a meeting with Mr. Foxman in Poland, the Cardinal sought guidance for his visit to Israel, resulting in the special visit to Yad Vashem.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.