March 31, 2016 Rabbi Haim Beliak brought a Torah back to Poland.
Recently, Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland announced that it was seeking a Torah for its communities in Poland. We were surprised at the quick response when on Sunday March 20th the board of Temple Hadar Israel in New Castle, PA voted to send us one of their Torot. A very exciting and lightening speed positive response came from Temple Hadar Israel’s Rabbi, Howie Stein and the president, Sam Bernstine. David Sarnat of Atlanta and the Jewish Community Legacy Project were the match-maker for this gift.
Los Angeles’ Wilshire Blvd Temple was the setting for the symbolic Purim Day transfer of the Torah to Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland. Thanks to the generous actions of the Executive Director Howard Kaplan the magnificent sanctuary was opened.
By chance, Dale Perelman, a member of Temple Hadar Israel delivered the Torah in front of Wilshire Blvd Temple in Los Angeles. Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, the executive director of Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland took the Torah Poland, March 30. The Torah was specially packed to avoid damage.
Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland fosters Progressive Jewish life in Poland. Currently there are ten communities associated with Beit Polska, the umbrella organization of Polish Progressive Judaism. Beit Polska is recognized by the World/European Union for Progressive Judaism.
By 1939 on the eve of the destruction of Progressive Judaism in Poland as many at 300,000 members in over 40 major synagogues throughout Poland identified with Progressive Judaism.
Progressive Judaism in Poland was resolutely committed to Zionism which made it not only the largest non-orthodox body in the world but also unique among Jewish religious groups. Beginning in 1802, Polish speaking and German speaking congre, gations in Poland embraced a non-orthodox approach. By 1863, Rabbi Marcus Jastrow, the author of the famous dictionary of the Talmud’s Hebrew and Aramaic, was among the many storied leaders who lead the struggle for Polish independence.
Recently, Beit Polska completed its Polish – Hebrew Siddur the first modern Siddur since 1928. Rabbi Beliak and Dr. Richard Hecht are leading a remarkable “Insiders Tour of Poland” from June 22 to July 9.
Please email or phone Rabbi Haim Beliak with any questions: