Jewish community in Poland comes together for weekend of unity

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Jewish community in Poland comes together for weekend of unity

Amidst growing antisemitism, the event marking Kristallnacht brought together more than 200 members of the Polish Jewish community from Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice and Lodz

Pic: Courtesy of Chabad of Poland
Pic: Courtesy of Chabad of Poland

In the wake of the 7 October terror attack on Israel and the subsequent surge in antisemitism worldwide, the Jewish community in Poland came together in a groundbreaking show of unity and resilience hosted by Chabad of Poland.

The multi-city communal gathering took place over the weekend of November 11 in Warsaw and demonstrated the strength and solidarity of the revived Polish Jewish community.

The Thursday and Friday leading into the event marked the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, largely seen as the beginning of the Holocaust.

The more than 200 members of Poland’s Jewish community hailed from Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice, Lodz, and other communities across Poland for the event.

Members of the Ukrainian Jewish community now living in Poland also participated to show thanks to Chabad of Poland and its community for their monumental efforts on their behalf since the war in their country began.

Chabad of Poland co-director Rabbi Mayer Stambler said: “It was so heartwarming and inspiring to come together at a time when many within the global Jewish community are feeling so alone in a world of growing antisemitism yet paradoxically watching as the Jewish community coalesces around itself.

Pic: Chabad of Poland

Chabad of Poland director Rabbi Sholom Ber Stambler said: “With everything going on in the world today, we felt it was integral that we, like Jewish communities across the globe, come together to support each other during a time where the global waves of antisemitism that we are watching play out in the news and on social media can make us feel alone.”

The weekend, dubbed ‘Even Now, We Come Together’ featured a roster of esteemed speakers. Among them was Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chabad of Poland director Rabbi Sholom Ber Stambler, Chabad co-director Rabbi Mayer Stambler, alongside international speakers, including Israeli journalist Yedidya Meir and his wife, the celebrated Israeli television anchor Sivan Rahav Meir.

The gathering also hosted Israel Defense Forces special operations veteran Amit Moshe.

The 200 participants spending Shabbat together also marked a new record for Poland’s Jewish community, one of the first times since the Holocaust that so many Polish Jews spent the weekend learning and growing together since before the war when the country was home to more than 3,500,000 Jews.

Following the war just over 380,000 of them remained alive, many of whom left the country or were forced to hide their faith in the ensuing years due to communism and fear of antisemitism.

The Jewish community first saw its revival in the post-communist years through classes and community services offered by international Jewish philanthropies and through the work of Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich who co-sponsored the weekend event in Warsaw.

Since the start of the Russian incursion into Ukraine, Chabad of Poland based in Warsaw has opened its doors to Ukraine’s Jewish community offering refuge, transportation, kosher food, medical aid, financial and material assistance, childcare, educational and social services, communal activities and administrative and legal aid to tens of thousands displaced by the conflict.

For more information or to contribute to Chabad in Poland relief efforts, please click here.

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