About Leora Tec – Founder & Director, Bridge to Poland
Leora first traveled to Poland in 2005 and discovered the work of commemoration being done by non-Jewish Poles in Lublin, the city where her mother and generations of her family were born. She had not been commemorating the lost lives but the non-Jewish Poles she met were doing just that. This amazed her, and brought her back again and again.
Through partnerships with her colleagues and friends in Poland, Leora Tec works to break down stereotypes about non-Jewish Poles and build bridges between people. Leora is particularly pleased about her warm partnership with Brama Grodzka Teatr-NN-the organization that inspired her to start Bridge To Poland.
Leora’s talks, workshops, writing, interviews and on the ground small group study tours in Poland highlight the work of non-Jews who are commemorating Jewish life in a myriad of ways. She seeks to challenge old stories, blank space—the undiscovered or unknown—and fossilized representations about Poland, “the Poles” and Polish-Jewish history. Rather than providing answers she hopes that those who engage with Bridge To Poland will end up with more questions—more to be curious about—and with healing.
Bridge To Poland small group study experiences are about making connections and about transformation. Group members enjoy debate, in-depth conversation, and even friendly arguments. Laughing, crying and singing are all part of a Bridge To Poland experience. Leora is the daughter of Holocaust survivor and scholar Nechama Tec, whose work focuses on rescue and resistance. Leora sees her work as the second generation of her mother’s. Nechama Tec writes about those who saved lives. Leora works with those who are saving memory.
Leora is the American Ambassador to Brama Grodzka-Teatr-NN and serves on the Board of the American Association for Polish Jewish Studies. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D./ LL.M from Duke University School of Law. She is thrilled and humbled to be a 2018-2019 Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellow from Wellesley College. She was awarded the fellowship to pursue several projects related to Jewish memory in Poland, including creating a video archive of rescuers of memory to be housed on the Brama Grodzka website.