I hope you are following the events, stories, and films relating to Poland during these weeks — the dedication of the new Museum of the History of the Jews of Poland; 70th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Holocaust Memorial Day etc. I’ll be blogging about many of these movies, articles, issues, and personalities at RabbiBeliakBlog, please go sign up!!
You can help encourage a process of compassionate confrontation and healing. Present day, Jews and non-Jews with the history of the Polish lands in their past know so little about each other’s narrative and often their memories collide. I believe that an educational process will lead to a deeper understanding of the past.
I am leading a tour to Poland this summer from July 24 to August 4 that emphasizes an encounter with the 1000 year culture of Jews in Poland. That life is surprisingly beginning anew, in a process of Jewish renewal through out Poland.
Shabbat and Lag B’Omer in Poland’s “Tri-City” at Beit Trojmiasto
Last Shabbat at Beit Trojmiasto (Gdansk-Danzig, Sopot, and Gydinia — “tri-cities”), Rabbi Gil Nativ celebrated Shabbat and L’ag b’Omer! Please enjoy the pictures from that event! Visit their facebook here.
Important segments of Poland are seeking to emerge from the shadow of suspicion and begin a process of reconciliation with Jews. The new museum of the History of the Jews of Poland is a central part of that effort. Reconciliation and eventual healing is a long, many faceted task.
A key to the work of Progressive Judaism is Beit Polska, the umbrella organization of Progressive Polish Jews sponsored by the World Union of Progressive Jews. We are all working to heal memory and rebuild Jewish dignity and life. That process is a vital element for Poles who are seeking to connect to Judaism. Some are seeking to be more informed about their past and some are seeking a spiritual home in Judaism. I believe that the renewal of Jewish life in Poland is an opportunity for all Poles to move beyond the intolerance of the past.
Iza is a psychologist and recently completed the lay cantor’s training program of Beit Polska and Beit Warszawa. Here is a report from Iza Rachel.
I’m still in Gdańsk. I am impressed about the community here. Organizing of this long Szabat were amazing. On Friday morning Rabbi, Ziva and Mikołaj had trip – Marcin and Ari showed them Gdansk. After it Ari took me from the bus to his home.
We had quick preparation to Szabas and went to Viktor apartament (place of staying of Rabbi and Ziva and place for Szabat)
There were 18-20 people on erev Szabat!
They really felt happy that Rabbi and Zivah were in Trójmiasto. And the enthusiasm was everywhere. It was spread on new people. I think that Rabbi, Ziva, Mikołaj and me felt better than at home! I know that 4 people here: Kasia, Wiktor, Ari, MArcin spent many days on preparation. They worked in the garden (preparation to Lag ba’Omer bonfire) and cleaned two homes. Kasia made great food (on Friday morning she woke up at 5 o’clock to make great challot – not 2 but about 10 I suppose) Marcin was a driver, Wiktor took care of everything and everybody to feel really comfortable in his apartment. Ari cooked great cakes, and did PR of this event. But also everyone was involved partially in every activity.
They really want to develop and I think after this Szabat and Lag ba’Omer bonfire some people decided to join to the group. It was amazing time!
I was recording them all prayers on Erev Szabat and sent by email. I would like to help them in learning melodies.
Great community! They really need big space to have Szabbatot regularly 🙂 not that they think about it too often.
Visit Poland this summer from July 24-August 4
We are proud of the efforts of our flagship congregation Beit Warszawa and the newer communities: Beit Bialystok, Beit Konstanstine, Beit Poznan, Beit Lublin, Beit Trojmiasto (“tri-cities” formerly Beit Gdansk but now including Gdansk, Sopot, and Gydinia) and Beit Lodz. I think visiting Poland in this exciting time is something you should consider.
Share with congregants, friends, and colleagues the information about our upcoming trip to Poland. It is an opportunity to remember the six million but also to appreciate the culture and history of Polish Jews. We plan a Shabbat at Beit Warszawa as well as a private tour of the new Museum of the History of the Jews of Poland and many highlights.