In the fall of 2007, Antoni
Dudo, our Lomza vice-president since 2002,
I am also extremely delighted to announce that
Fred Finkelstein, has agreed to became our another vice-president. Fred
lives in Seattle where he practices law. Freds ancestors came to New York from Lomza
in about 1908. A few siblings of his grandfather and grandmother also came to New
York but a few stayed behind.
resigned for health and family reasons. Fortunately, he was able to
supervise the 2007 spring-summer work through its completion. We wish
to thank Antoni for his invaluable contributions, among them:
supervising various cleaning and renovation undertakings, meticulously
documenting all the graves and obtaining all necessary work permits
for the 2007 project. We are not saying goodbye to him, as he will
continue to help us so far as his time and health permit.
The primary goal of my March 25 - April10, 2008 visit to Lomza was to
find someone to replace Antoni. I am very pleased to announce that my
longtime personal and family friend, Kazimierz Szczechura, will be
serving in this strictly voluntary job.
I have known Kazimierz for many years. He is a respected businessman,
an owner of a pawn and antique store called "Lombard" in the very heart
of Lomza on Farna street where I grew up. Kazimierz is as well one of
the most, if not the single most recognized amateur enthusiast of Lomza
history, including its Jewish past. He is the very antique dealer who
was instrumental in rescuing the Lomza Torah, as described in the story
on our website.
On several occasions in the past I have asked for his help with the
cemetery, but his business and family matters never permitted any
significant involvement in our projects before. In early April,
I visited him again to ask for leads to people who possibly might be
interested in helping us. Rather unexpectedly, Kazik said. "I'll do this
for you." My prayers were answered. Knowing Kazik for years, I can
assure you that we could not have dreamt of a better person to represent
our interest in Lomza.
About 2 ½ years ago, he briefly visited Lomza for the first
time. He went go back to Lomza in early May of 2008. This time for two days. He visited
the cemetery again and was delighted to see the tombstone from old family picture
in very good shape. Of course, he met and befriended Kazimierz, who showed him some unique
places and documents related to the history of Lomza Jews.
Fred replaces George Puchall who thus becomes our vice-president
emeritus. George, (US Air Force colonel, retired) grew up in Lomza in 1930s. He has
co-founded our organization and has been instrumental in all our activities since then. We
are not thanking him yet as George shall remain an active member the foundation and will
serve at our Board of Directors.
Marek Kaminski (President)