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Professor Schorr Foundation decided to bring closer to the attention of the public the figure of Ms Stefania Wilczynska – forgotten “Ms Stefa”, Head Teacher of the Orphan’s Home and close co-worker of Janusz Korczak. To this aim we undertook following activities:

  • organising meetings of the group of volunteers, which together with us wanted to honour the memory of Stefania Wilczynska;

  • setting up the Facebook profile of “Dear Ms Stefa” (there is already 900 people with us);

  • organising a panel discussion at the Nożyk Synagogue on the occasion of Women’s Day, dedicated to Stefania Wilczynska. In the meeting, those participating included; Marta Ciesielska –the Institute of Documentation and Research “Korczakianum”, Agnieszka Kozlowska – Rajewicz – secretary of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, plenipotentiary of the Government for equality, Sylwia Chutnik – author, social activist, expert on the life of famous Warsaw women, Wanda Nowicka – deputy speaker of the Parliament, Beata Biel – TV reporter, author of documentary about Stefania Wilczynska, and Grazyna Pawlak – Director of the Board of the Moses Schorr Foundation;

  • organising workshop for teachers “Ms Stefa – Mother of the Orphans”, during which didactic tools and materials were presented: timeline of her life and scenario for a lesson about “Ms Stefa” – prepared by Boguslawa Bogucka and Sylwia Chutnik with cooperation with “Korczakianum” Documentation and Research Institute;

  • making a short documentary, “Dear Ms Stefa”, telling the story of Stefania Wilczynska. The honorary patronage for the film was granted by the Polish Ministry of Education. We popularised the film by sending DVDs to schools and other educational institutions in Poland, Great Britain and Israel, as well as Jewish Communities all over Poland. The film was also presented at the Foundation, and students and teachers from outside of Warsaw participated. The movie is published on YouTube. The documentary was shown also during the Congress of Women in Warsaw, and during the celebrations of “The Year of Korczak”, which took place in November in Genoa, in Italy, where the director of the Foundation, Dr Grazyna Pawlak, presented a paper.English subtitles for the movie were prepared free of charge by Ms Dagmara Kufel. Dr Grazyna Pawlak presented also a paper at a teachers’ conference, which opened Warsaw Week of Education, dedicated to Janusz Korczak. The event was organised by The Municipal Center for Education. The same Centre distributed 600 copies of the documentary to schools in Warsaw.


Our efforts in popularising the figure of forgotten “Ms Stefa” were recognised and in March the Moses Schorr Foundation was nominated for the “Equality Glasses”. The initiative inspired also several press articles, written by Prof. Magdalena Sroda, Magdalena Kicinska and Sylwia Chutnik. We know also about two books being written – one in Poland, one in Israel.



Stefania Wilczyńska

daughter of Julian (Issac) Wilczyński (1853-1911) and Salomea Walisz (1885-1929) was boru on May 26, 1886 to an established Warsaw family. She had three sisters: Emila Kahane, Paulina Idzikowska and unmarried Julia, as well as a brother, Stanisław.

1906.1908 Studies natural science and medicine at Liege University.

1909.1911 Starts working as a volunteer in the shelter in Franciszkańska Street. Joins the "Help for Orphans" society, which is where she first meets Korczak.

1912 Janusz Korczak becomes the head of the new House of Orphans, Wilczyńska takes up duties of the main housemistress.

1914   After the outbreak of World War One, Wilczyńska takes over the House of Orphans, when Korczak does his military duty. She struggles with mounting financial difficulties.

1919-1920   During the Polish-Bolshevik War she runs the House of Orphans, while Janusz Korczak works in military epidemiological hospitals, where he contracts typhus.

1925   Starts working as the manager of the House of Orphans Dormitory, where she supervises children's earning and work. She also continues working in her previous position.

1926   Begins her cooperation with "Mały Przegląd", a newspaper for children set up by Janusz Korczak. 

1931   Sets out on her first trip to Palestine, where she visits kibbutz educational institutions.

1937   Having worked there continuosly for 25 years, she leaves the House of Orphans.

1938   Leaves for Palestine, where she intends to continue her work on designing an educational system for children's homes in kibbutz system.

May 1939   Sensing the outbreak of the war, she comes back to Poland and to the House of Orphans, in order to be with the children and support.

September 1939 first days of the war. Organizes a medical care point in the basement of the House of Orphans. Korczak, together with older children and co-workers, puts out incendiary bombs on the roof of the House.

Summer 1940   Together with Janusz Korczak they organize the last summer camp in "Różyczka" for more than 300 children from Warsaw dormitories, orphanages and "Centos" branches.

1940-41   Thanks to the heroic efforts of Stefania Wilczyńska and Janusz Korczak, the children in the House of Orphans live a relatively normal life.


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Prof. Moses Schorr Foundation

6 Twarda St
00-104 Warsaw
phone: 22 620 34 96