web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Polish Writer Henryk Halkowski

Polish writer Henryk Halkowski, z”l, one of Poland’s most notable contemporary Jewish personalities, died suddenly on January 1, just days after celebrating his 57th birthday. Friends said the cause of his death was a heart attack. He wrote and translated several books and essays on Jewish culture, history and thought. An expert on the Jewish history and heritage of Krakow, Halkowski also was an acute observer of the transformation of Jewish life after the fall of Communism. With his thick glasses, gray beard and zest for conversation, Halkowski was a familiar figure in this city’s Jewish quarter, Kazimirez.

 

“Henryk was one of a kind,” Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich said. “His soul was gentle and his intellect fierce. He would always let you know what he was thinking. While you may not always have agreed with what he said, it was always well thought out and absolutely sincere. He was an anchor of Yiddishkeit in Krakow and we will miss him very greatly.

 

I first met Henryk on my first visit to Krakow more then 10 years ago and we quickly became friends. His enthusiasm about the Jewish history of his hometown, Krakow, made him an unforgettable character. He was a fixture in the Aleph Café on the main square in the Jewish neighborhood opposite the Rema Synagogue. Henryk wrote a popular book on legends of Jewish Krakow and often gave impromptu tours of the many synagogue buildings and cemeteries in Krakow.

 

The last time I saw Henryk, during the High Holy Days, he was an active participant in the minyan. Although not overly religious he felt very protective of his Jewishness. He once commented to me that he had retired from being a professional Jew. He had problems with the fact that many of the “Jews,” and especially vendors at Jewish events, were not in fact Jewish but only taking advantages of Jews coming to Poland, searching for their roots, for monetary gains.

 

“Kazimirez will never be the same without him and all his craziness,” said Malgosia Ornat of the Austria Jewish publishing house. “We will miss him a lot. He was so important for Jewish life in Krakow and a certain period of its revival is gone forever.”

 

Joachim Russek, the director of Krakow’s Centrum Judaicum Jewish Center here, called Halkowski “a guardian of Krakow’s Jewish legacy” and said, “The Kazimirez quarter without him will not be the same.”

 

Torah Comes To Poznan


 


On January 8, 2009, a Hachnassat Sefer Torah, a ceremony introducing Torah Scrolls to the seat of the local Jewish Religious Community, took place in Poznan. The representatives of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland participated in the ceremony. When I visited the community last year it was explained to me that they did not have regular services, as the community was too small. They gathered regularly twice a month for Oneg Shabbat and held regular services when enough people joined them. Now with the introduction of the Torah Scrolls it is hoped that they will be able to have services on a more regular basis.

 

Sign Erected At Bilgoraj Cemetery


 


It was recently reported in this column that the cemetery in the town of Bilgoraj was in danger of being obliterated. While negotiations are ongoing as to the final disposition of the Jewish cemetery and adjoining mass grave a sign has been erected at the site through the initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, reminding visitors of proper behavior during the visit on its grounds.

 

Jewish Scholastic Agreement With Chile


 


The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland recently announced an agreement between itself and the Center of Jewish Studies of the Chilean University (Centro de Estudios Judaicos Universidad de Chile) concerning, among others, intellectual cooperation, exchange of publications and information about Jewish culture and history as well as joint educational and scientific projects. It is hoped that the cooperation between the two will raise awareness, of the importance of Jewish-Polish culture on the Jewish world, to the university in Chile.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Polish Writer Henryk Halkowski”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Official Palestinian Authority media report that the Mossad trained terrorists and gave them weapons to kill the four French Jews (above) in a Paris kosher market in order to promote aliyah.
Palestinian Authority Incitement: Israel Planned French Terror
Latest Sections Stories
Dr. Esther Rose Lowy

Dr. Lowy believed passionately in higher education for both men and women and would stop at nothing to assist young students in achieving their educational goals.

book-Lincoln

It’s almost pointless to try to summarize all of the fascinating information that Holzer’s research unearthed.

The special charm of these letters is their immediacy and authenticity of emotion and description.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Often both girls and boys compare their date to their parents.

We love the food, the hotels, and even the wildlife. We love the Israelis.

Few traces remain of the glory days of Jewish life in the kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, but the demise wasn’t due to the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. Rather it was a manmade volcano called the Edict of Expulsion from Spain – and not even an invitation to return in Shevat of 1740 could […]

Garbage in your streets, my city
Wind-blown litter, lonely men

I love you in your blazing heat
my aching feet
dragging in your streets.

These monsters constantly attack
When we dare to try to fight back

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lauder receiving a special album from Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, director of the Lauder-Morasha school in Warsaw.

In 1989 he hosted a dinner for 157 young Jews with the late Rabbi Chaskel Besser and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland was born.

Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/polish-writer-henryk-halkowski/2009/01/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: