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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
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Pesach In Poland

Every year, Pesach is one of the most celebrated holidays throughout the world – and Pesach in Poland is no exception. This year there were numerous private and public sederim around the country.


The Birkat HaChamah celebration on erev Pesach, which attracted over 50 people in Warsaw, was an added feature. The Jewish community’s publication of a special pamphlet for the occasion included all the appropriate prayers, as well as a detailed explanation of the rare occurrence.


Here are the Pesach-related activities that took place throughout Poland:


Warsaw:


To prepare for Pesach, the chametz was burned in the courtyard of the Jewish Community Center of Warsaw. The Seder was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in the spacious Opera Room, with preparations for over 200 people and tables set for those fluent in English, Hebrew and Polish.

 

 


Rabbi Zarczynski burning the chametz in the courtyard of the Jewish Community Center of Warsaw.


 


Rabbi Pinchas Zarczynski of Warsaw

 

 

 


(L-R) Yitzchak Moshe Krakowski, Warsaw Kollel member; Rafi Minc, an oleh who returned for Pesach to be with his family; and Mikhael Hermon, head of Kol Polin, Hebrew language program on Radio Polska.

 

 

 

 


 (L-R) Steven Goldstein, director of Superpharm Poland; Minc; and Hermon dancing at the Birkat HaChamah ceremony’s conclusion. (photos by Piotr Sadurski)

 


Poznań:


For the first time since this community was decimated at the hands of the Shoah, a Seder was held in the Poznan Jewish community.


Wrocław:


A large Seder was held in the city’s Jewish community center.


Krakow:


Krakow’s large communal Seder took place at the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow.


Lublin:


For the first time since the Shoah, a Seder – with approximately 100 people in attendance – was held at Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. This followed the chametz’s burning before Pesach in the yeshiva’s courtyard. As a background note, Warsaw’s Jewish community received ownership of the yeshiva building in 2003. Since then, parts of the building have been gradually renovated in order to serve as a holiday gathering venue for the small number of local Jews. Other events take place there, as well.

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The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

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