Sara Melzer-Weinfeld “The Duty of Remembering”

Sara Melzer-Weinfeld “The Duty of Remembering”

Exhibition opening: 28.02.2023, 17.00

On February 28th, the Galicia Jewish Museum will open a new temporary exhibition by Sara Melzer-Weinfeld, an artist and a Holocaust Survivor who was born in Sanz (Nowy Sącz). The artist shares her memory of brutal experiences of the first half of the 20th century with the viewers and leaves them reflecting upon why it is so important to remember. The author of the works reaches to her discovered memories and family documents and through techniques such as making bas-reliefs from paper she copes with the memory of this difficult time.

The exhibition was presented and warmly received in the Nowy Sącz Public Library. The artist was also awarded the title of the Honorary Citizen of Sądecki Sztetl.

Sara Melzer (nee Weinfeld) was born on February 4, 1927 in Nowy Sącz, Poland, to Avraham Mordechai and Malka Weinfeld. Her family on the side of her mother (nee Landau), is descended from Rabbi Yechezkel Landau of Prague (known as the “Noda Biyhudah”) and Rabbi Moshe Isserles of Kraków (the Rema). At age 8 she moved with her family to Nowy Targ for a couple of years and then to Gorlice, from where – upon the outbreak of WWII – she escaped from Nazi occupation, fleeing eastwards first to Bełżec and then to Lwów area. In June 1940, together with her grandfather, parents and six siblings she was deported by Soviet authorities to exile in Siberia. After a year in a political prisoner camp her grandfather Eliezer Weinfeld died. Sara and the family survived through further hardships in a gold mine for the next couple of years. After the war the family returned back to Poland, from where via Czechoslovakia they moved to Eichstätt in Germany, where they stayed waiting for a permit to emigrate to Israel.

In July 1948, in the midst of Israel’s War of Independence, Sara and four brothers arrived at Israel as volunteer soldiers for the IDF. Later on, she became a school teacher, and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Education for forty years. During that period she managed to gradually acquire her academic degrees, B.A., M.A, and finally Ph.D. in Education from the University of Haifa. Throughout her career, Sara conducted many activities as a supervisor of art teaching and as a lecturer at the university, produced a variety of innovative programs and textbooks that combine art with different disciplines. One of the projects she successfully led included a novel strategy for a multi-participant, egalitarian, collective work in mosaic art, which resulted in the creation of dozens of large-scale works for decorating schools and cultural centers throughout Israel. In 1994 Sara Melzer was awarded by the Knesset Speaker for her unique contribution to bringing hearts closer and promoting relations between Jewish and Arab students, teachers and administrators in the Israeli education system, through fostering the values of beauty, aesthetics and creativity. Over the last 25 years, in addition to her devotion to her family, Sara has been an active artist using in various techniques, some of them innovative. Her works often touch upon the subject of Holocaust remembrance, and many of them have been presented in various exhibitions in different countries.

Partners: Sądecki Sztetl, General Consulate of Germany to Kraków
Under the patronage of the Consul General of Germany to Kraków, Dr. Michael Groß