The affiliate of New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage that runs the Auschwitz Jewish Center, a museum and synagogue in the town that gave its name to the concentration camp complex, is raising money on Kickstarter to open a café in the home of the town’s last Jew.
The AJC sees Café Oshpitzin, which means “guests,” as both a small restaurant and a place for public discussion programs and informal dialogue between tourists and locals, according to the project description on Kickstarter:
“Café Oshpitzin will be a place for guests – a welcoming vegetarian café that uses local products and celebrates local food culture whenever possible. Currently, there is no place like this in Oswiecim, which has just a few pizzerias, a Turkish kebab bar, and a KFC – all fast food – not local, homemade products with the slow food approach of our café.”
On the planned menu: pischinger, a chocolate wafer cake; regional cheeses like the salty, smoked oscypek and beers brewed just an hour away.
The café project is part of a larger effort to save the home of Szymon Kluger, who died in 2000. While the AJC has already raised the funds to repair the house, which it says on Kickstarter “in serious danger of collapse,” it still needs $25,000 to create the restaurant and is struggling to generate that support.
Donors have only contributed about $7,000 so far, and if the initiative doesn’t meet its $25,000 goal by May 13, it will lose what has already been pledged.
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