Friends of Jewish Renewal in Poland is a ray of hope and a beacon for the Jewish future. We are proud of the growth of progressive Jewish life in Poland under the nationwide umbrella of Beit Polska. I hope you share my admiration for the work of Beit Polska. Its leaders and participants have transformed congregational life in Poland. We work with amazingly meager resources and need your support. At this time of year we have so many demands and we turn to you for help.
Together with our flagship congregation, Beit Warszawa, there are now eight new Jewish progressive communities in Poland – Beit Konstancin, Beit Trojmiasto, Beit Lublin, Beit Lodz, Beit Bialystok, Beit Poznan and Beit Plock. We have been invited to two news cities and a third invitation is likely in the next few weeks.
Passover is approaching with the accompanying celebrations and expenses. Please consider making this season one in which you share the holiday with others. In addition, we are sending twelve of our members to the European Union for Progressive Judaism conference in Dresden in April. All this requires financial support.
People in Poland are realizing they have Jewish connection, and they seek to learn Judaism; and they are renewing budding congregations. There is only one rabbi for multiple growing communities, we are printing a new Polish/Hebrew prayer book, we have conversion classes, and we hold shabbat and festival congregational worship.
Your donation can foster our renaissance:
- Watch for news on Siddur Bejt Polin
- Hundreds of people are participating in Shabbat and Holiday services, Step by Step weekend and weekly classes, Talmud classes, Israeli dancing, and life cycle events led by Rabbi Gil Nativ
- Shabbat Yachad celebrations and holiday events with children led by Zivah Nativ… we are building a Jewish foundation for children
- Publishing our first children’s book in Polish sponsored by the family of the late Anita Marvlyn Maizel (nee Berkowitz)
- People are completing their journey, affirming their Jewish connection in front of the European Union for Progressive Judaism’s Beit Din; several graduates of our program are leading full Jewish lives in Poland as well as in Israel
- Visiting instructors/talents Dr. Nahma Sandrow, Sara Sapon-White, Barbara Kadden, Anna Klein, and Lucia Goodhart
- Rabbis Janet Madden, Allen Maller, Laurie Rutenberg, Gary Schoenberg, Bruce Kadden, and Avi Havivi and Cantors Joseph Gole and Mimi Sheffer taught in classes for us. This July we are expecting UC Santa Barbara Professor Richard Hecht to teach a special seminar
- Many of our young leaders attend leadership seminars in Israel such as the Beutel and Bergman seminars. Several of our young people attend camps such as the Brandeis Collegiate Institute for college students
- Our training of prayer leaders and lay cantors continues and our graduates now serve our communities. Currently we have six very strong participants in the new class. A Polish speaking American cantor Heather Bachelor is working with them on Skype. We thank Dennis and Nancy Gilbert for their support of our music programs
- Two leaders of Progressive Polish Judaism, Piotr Stasiak and Joanna Auron, visited California – speaking at Temple Israel of Pomona, Adat Elohim of Thousand Oaks, and Claremont McKenna College’s Athenaeum
- Board members Piotr Stasiak, Greg Galacki, Joe Smocynski, and Joanna Auron visited England this year telling of their personal odyssey to Jewish life
- We are building “twinning” relationships with congregations around the world – celebrating the first program with Jerry Fenning of Temple Beth Israel of Pomona, California.
- Rabbi Haim Beliak led a tour to Poland summer 2013 that included important sites of interest to Progressive Jewish history including references to Progressive rabbis/professors of the 19th and 20th Century who served in “the Polish Lands” Another tour is planned for June 2015
- Piotr Mirski and Rabbi Beliak visit Miedzyrzecz
We can only continue building a strong progressive Jewish community in Poland with your help. Two new officially registered communities – Beit Konstancin and Beit Trojmiasto joined Beit Polska.
Piotr Stasiak – Chair of Beit Polska and Beit Warszawa
Rabbi Haim Beliak – Beit Polska
Rabbi Gil Nativ – Beit Warszawa
Kasia Mazurkiewicz – Chair of Beit Trojmiasto
Greg Galacki – Chair of Beit Konstancin
Joanna Auron-Gorska – Committee for Beit Bialystok
Piotr Mirski – Committee for Beit Lublin
Michael Levi – Committee for Beit Plock
Magda Kosinka – Committee for Beit Lodz
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