Henryk Halkowski, z”l

To my dear friend and teacher, Henryk,

Do you remember when we met in front of the Old Synagogue when I came to Poland as a college student in 1991? Later, when I lived in Krakow  you welcomed me. You helped me. We shared many memories – we mourned together, celebrated together, laughed and danced together, we observed the changes to your beloved krakow together. We became good friends – and for my entire life I will cherish that friendship very much.

Remember when we started rocking the status quo – and  organized those Shabbat dinners in the TZKZ klub, Pesach, and Purim parties? Remember the first Jewish events at the Original Ariel?

Henryk – You were my teacher – about Poland, Jewish life, Krakow, and so much more.
I cannot imagine Krakow without you because you are an irreplaceable part of my connection to Jewish Poland.
I will never forget your generosity of spirit, wit, insight.
I will never forget the many memories.
Henryk – the world has a vacuum –
No one can replace you.
You left us too soon.

(more photos hrer

Polish writer Henryk Halkowski dies

January 4, 2009

KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) – Polish writer Henryk Halkowski, one of Poland’s most notable contemporary Jewish personalities, died suddenly.

Friends said the cause of his death on Jan. 1, just days after celebrating his 57th birthday, was a heart attack


He wrote and translated several books and essays on Jewish culture, history and thought. An expert on the Jewish history and heritage of Krakow, Halkowski also was an acute observer of the transformation of Jewish life after the fall of communism.

With his thick glasses, gray beard and zest for conversation, Halkowski was a familiar figure in this city’s Jewish quarter, Kazimierz.

“Kazimierz will never be the same without him and all his craziness,” said Malgosia Ornat of the Austeria Jewish publishing house. “We will miss him a lot. He was so important for Jewish life in Krakow and a certain period of its revival is gone forever.”