Rabbi Avi Havivi visited Poland in January for a whirlwind ten days of lectures, visits and friendship development. Beit Polska’s program of encouraging rabbis and other informed teacher from the various movements of Judaism attempts to teach and inspire people who are curious about Judaism.
Dr Havivi gave a formal academic presentation at the annual Day of Judaism conference of Adam Mickiewicz University’s department of the Culture of European Judaism, the Edyth Stein Institute of Wroclaw and the City of Gniezno’s mayor Jacek Kowalski. In the Polish and German Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, the day of Judaism is now an annual event. Rabbi Havivi’s paper focused on issues of Biblical interpretation. The international conference welcomed scholars from Israel, Poland, and North America. This year’s theme was East European Judaism and Question of Jewish Identity under the auspices of Professor Fr. Waldemar Sczczerbinski.
Dr. Havivi led a Shabbaton in Poznan that brought together Beit Polska’s Beit Poznan and the Masorti’s Kehillat Ahavat Shalom for a Shabbaton and a walking tour of Poznan’s Jewish sites concluding with Havdalah and a klemer-jazz club outing.
Rabbi Havivi met members of the introduction to Judaism class in Warsaw and led another Shabbaton at Beit Trojmiasto (Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot) in an inspiring Shabbaton that included academics.
In addition Rabbi Havivi visited a Protestant seminary in Warsaw under the auspices of Professor Andrzej Kluczynski of the Christian Academy of Theology; a Catholic led Institute for Hebrew Philology in Toron by Fr. Bernard and Professor Rivka Halperin; and visited Bialystok’s tiny Jewish community (putting up the mezuza, avi u luteran3 and luteran1).
Dr. Havivi is also a practicing adolescent psychiatrist and instructor in Pastoral Care program of the Ziegler Rabbinic School of the American Jewish University.