Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Light a candle at 18:00 -

During the V International Holocaust Memorial Day and 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Army, a several events will be held in Warsaw, Cracow and Oświęcim (Auschwitz).

150 Holocaust survivors will be present at the ceremony in the former Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, as well as President of Poland Lech Kaczyński, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and the Chairman of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. The ceremony will be preceded by an international conference of ministers of education called "Auschwitz- Remembrance, Responsibility, Education".

Cracow will hold the III International Holocaust Forum "Let My People Live" where the participants from 44 countries will be discussing issues concerning Holocaust and the abuse of human rights. A part of David Eddleman's oratory "Kolot Min HaShoah" will be played in the Cracow Opera.

Warsaw will host the V International Holocaust Memorial Day. As every year, the ceremony will take place at the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes Memorial, where the Polish actors, Daniel Olbrychski and Zbigniew Zamachowski will recite the poetry of Itzhak Katzenelsson and the crew of Jewish Theatre will sing. The ceremony is co-organized by the Warsaw City Council and Szalom Foundation.

To commemorate the Shoah and its victims, the representatives of various social groups, including high school students and scouts will put the flowers by the Memorial.

A nationwide campaign is organized to light a candle in the window at 6pm. By lighting the candles, we'll salute the victims of Holocaust and the pre-war Jews, our neighbours in the cities and towns of Poland - said Gołda Tencer, the Head of the Szalom Foundation.

For the original article, please click here

News Updates: Komorowski and Peres discuss the Jewish property -

The Chairman of the Polish Parliament, Bronisław Komorowski met with Shimon Peres on the 10th of December 2009,as a part of his 3 day visit to Jerusalem. Two issues were discussed - the youth exchange and the restitution issue. Komorowski reiterated that young Israelis should not only visit the death camps and Holocaust sites but also meet with their Polish peers. He also noticed that on the Polish part, numerous pilgrims go to Israel to visit Christian holy sites, but very few are interested with the Jewish side of Israel.

Right now, 11 Polish students participate in an exchange program, studying for a semester at the Tel Aviv University.

Komorowski stated that the restitution rate is possible at the approximate rate of 25% of property value, paid back in several installments.

The meeting was supposed to have partially a private character.

For the original article, please click here

News Updates: Judaism Day in Polish Catholic Church -

"Leave your country and go to the land that I will show you" - this is the slogan of the Judaism day organized throughout Poland by Catholic church in the framework of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue. Bishop Mieczysław Cisło, the Head of the Council of the Episcopal Conference for the Religion Dialogue Affairs, said that after 13 years of holding this day, the effort has already born fruits, since the majority of Catholics know that such an event is organized, but much more has to be done: the spirit of reconciliation and religious community should be present in every church in every diocese in Poland - he added.
The central celebration was held in Tarnów, which before the war had 45% Jewish population. The Judaism Day consisted of prayers, Bible studies, discussions, and cultural events. Catholics and Jews prayed together at the place where the Tarnów Synagogue stood at the City Square, as well as at the Jewish cemetery. In the Tarnów Cathedral, both a Rabbi and a Catholic Biblicist commented together on the passages read from the Bible.
The Polish Catholics celebrate Judaism Day every year on 17th of January since 1997, when the Episcopal Conference designated this day as Judaism day.

For the link to the original article, click here

Rav Michael Schudrich, the head of the Polish Association of Jewish Communities also attented the celebration in Tarnów. If it was possible, some of the churches held joint worships with local Jewish communities.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow

Every year around June/July Cracow celebrates its Jewish heritage by holding one of the biggest in the world Jewish Culture Festivals. Every year, non-Jews from all over Poland come to Cracow, to learn Yiddish, Hebrew, fry some latkes, and listen to some of the best Israeli and Jewish bands - all this to remember the heritage of Polish lands.

For a link to Festival's website, click here