Joseph Dakar (Józef Zakrojczyk) – English version
Joseph Dakar was born as Józef Zakrojczyk on 27 May 1948 in Wałbrzych. When he was a two-year-old child, he moved with his mother to Israel. He has finished law in the Jerusalem University. He has been working as a lawyer in Israel. In 2000 he started to be involved in the affairs of the Lublin Community in Israel and in the years 2003–2017 he was the chairman of the Lublin Jewish Organization in Israel.
Joseph Dakar parents came from Lublin. He was born in Wałbrzych. The mother, Fela, born in 1920, came from the Lewinsohn family and the father, Marek, born in 1922, came from the Zakrojczyk family.
When the World War II broke, the father left Lublin and went to Lwów where he finished school and started to study at the University of Technology. When the city became occupied by the German Army he escaped to Asia and later on joined Wanda Wasilewska army. He got back to Lublin before the end of the war.
The mother remained in Lublin and together with her family was sent to Majdan Tatarski ghetto. They managed to escape to Warsaw before the liquidation of the ghetto on the 9th of November 1942. Fela Lewinsohn pretended to be Polish and joined the Polish Resistance. Unfortunately, under the threat that the secret will be revealed, she escaped to Germany with her brother to work in the labour camp. They didn’t manage to hide that they were Jewish and were sent to the camps in Auschwitz and Birkenau. Fela Lewinsohn survived the death march and came back to Lublin where she have met Marek Zakrojczyk. Because of the increasing dangerous incidents towards Jews in Lublin, the parents of Joseph Dakar moved to Wałbrzych. In 1950, when he was a two-year-old child, he moved with his mother to Israel. He graduated in law at the University of Jerusalem and has been working for 35 years in Israel as a lawyer. He lives in Tel Aviv, has a wife and two sons.
Lublin Jewish Organization
In 2000, Joseph Dakar, as a representative of the second generation of the Holocaust survivors, became involved in the activities of the Lublin Jewish Organization in Israel. In the years 2003–2017 he was the chairman of the Lublin Jewish Organization in Israel.
The organization publishes the annual "Kol Lublin", organizes commemoration of the important events linked to the history of the Lublin Jews (for example, the anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto in Majdan Tatarski) and promotes Israeli artists in Lublin.
Joseph Dakar and Polish-Jewish Lublin
Joseph Dakar often comes to Lublin as well as he supports Polish-Jewish dialogue. According to him, the interest of Polish people in Jewish themes has a positive impact on their image in Israel, and also helps to develop Polish-Jewish relations nowadays. Next generations of Israelis are more and more interested in their past – they are visiting In 2006 Jospeh Dakar was given the title of Honorary Ambassador of Lublin. As he says:
Although we do not live in Lublin, we maintain a cultural presence in Lublin. It's up to me, uo to other people and the city. But what is most important it is possible to have a Jewish cultural presence in Lublin, without Jews who are actually living there.
Cooperation with the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre
Since 2001 Joseph Dakar and the Lublin Jewish Organization in Israel is cooperating with The "Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre” Centre. The member of the Organization, Neta Żytomirska-Avidar, brought to Lublin photographs of the Żytomirski family what have started the project Henio Żytomirski – History of One Life.