Myrna Teck to lead trip this fall to Goniadz, Poland

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Latest News

During a trip to Poland in 2018 to attend a meeting of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Myrna Teck and her sister visited the shtetl where their grandmother lived in Goniadz. As part of this guided tour, they also visited the abandoned and overgrown Jewish cemetery. Realizing that no Jews are left in Goniadz to care for this cemetery, Teck asked herself, “What can I do?”

For Teck, posing that question in preparation for another life chapter, is what she does. . . what she’s always done.

Teck was three years old when her family moved from Malone, N.Y., to Blackstone, Va., where her father opened a bowling alley and ice cream parlor for the soldiers at Camp Pickett. Teck remembers running through fields of daffodils, a fortuitous experience considering her current involvement with The Daffodil project.

Teck’s family moved to Norfolk in 1945. After graduating from Syracuse University, she returned to Norfolk and taught at her alma mater, Granby High School, for 13 years, before joining the staff of The Chrysler Museum. In 1999, she finished her PhD in visual arts education with a research focus in Jewish art at University of Kansas. In June 2021, Teck returned to Tidewater to be closer to her daughter, Meril Amdursky.

Teck founded Jewish Art Education in 2007. She continues to serve as its president, whose mission is “dedicated to educating the wider world on the contributions of the Jewish visual arts to Jewish civilization.”

In 2019, still pondering the question about what she could do with the cemetery, she returned to Poland, and with a group of 50 Polish Catholics from this same village, cleaned up the cemetery. Absent Neighbors, a 48-minute documentary on YouTube, was filmed to capture this event, including interviews with 12 people who still live in Goniadz. One elderly man remembers his mother forbidding him from playing with Jewish children. His mother believed that Jews killed Catholic children and used their blood to make matzah, an antisemitic accusation referred to as blood libel.

This fall, Teck will return to Poland to dedicate an information signboard at the cemetery’s entrance. The dedication will be preceded by a 10-day trip, August 22 – Sept. 2, to include stops in Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz, Tykocin, and Bialystok. This trip is open to the public. Including airfare, hotel, meals, and venue tickets, Teck expects the trip to cost $2,000 – $2,500, depending on the number of travelers and group rates.

For more information about the trip and dedication, contact Myrna Teck at or 757-515-9359.