web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



64-Year-Old Polish Jew Celebrates Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel

Both of his parents were born to Jewish families that perished in Auschwitz.
Moshe Aoflko at the Kotel

Moshe Aoflko at the Kotel
Photo Credit: Sasson Tiram, courtesy of Shavei Israel.

Mariusz Robert Aoflko, a 64-year old Jewish attorney from Krakow who grew up thinking he was a Polish Catholic, celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on Wednesday, May 30, at the Kotel, with friends and other “hidden Jews” from Poland.

Mariusz spent his entire life as a Catholic. However, 13 years ago, right before his mother passed away, she told him something that turned his whole world upside down: he is a Jew, and a Kohen.

This week, Mariusz (who now goes by the name of Moshe) is visiting Israel for the first time and this morning celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel, 13 years after the secret, which he calls “his rebirth,” was revealed.

It turns out that both of Mariusz’s parents were born to Jewish families who perished in Auschwitz. After the war, the fear of being Jewish in Poland led his parents to hide their religion and to live as Polish Catholics.

After learning his true identity, Mariusz was in complete shock, but slowly, over the years, he decided he wanted to live a Jewish life. He contacted Shavei Israel’s emissary in Krakow, Rabbi Boaz Pash, and became involved with the Jewish community in Krakow.

Last month, he met Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, at the entrance of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and told him his story. “I was deeply moved,” Freund said, adding, “I told him that since 13 years have passed since he found out he was a Jew, it is an appropriate time for him to have a Bar Mitzvah.” Freund then offered to arrange the event at the Kotel, all paid for by the organization.

“By embarking on this journey into my heritage, step by step, it all starts to become clear to me,” said Mariusz. “I am not doing this to prove anything to anyone. All I ask is to embrace the truth about my family and regain the lost identity that was hidden from me for decades.”

Today, there are approximately 4,000 Jews living in Poland, but experts suggest there may be tens of thousands of other Jews who to this day are either hiding their identities or simply unaware of their family heritage. In recent years, a growing number of such people, popularly known as the “Hidden Jews of Poland,” have begun to return to Judaism and to the Jewish people.

Shavei Israel is a non-profit organization founded by Michael Freund, who immigrated to Israel from the United States, with the aim of strengthening the ties between the Jewish people, the State of Israel and the descendants of Jews around the world. The organization is currently active in nine countries and provides assistance to a variety of different communities such as the Bnei Menashe of India, the Bnei Anousim in Spain, Portugal and South America, the Subbotnik Jews of Russia, and the Jewish community of Kaifeng in China.

Shavei Israel currently has two full-time emissaries in Poland, located in Krakow and Katowice.

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.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

One Response to “64-Year-Old Polish Jew Celebrates Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel”

  1. Mazel Tov! Last fall, during Rosh Hashonah, at age 66, I celebrated my Bat Mitzvah here in Colorado

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Map of Gaza City rocket launcher sites in school yard. July 22, 2014
UNRWA School Shelters Rockets (Again!) and Residents in Gaza
Latest News Stories
Map of Gaza City rocket launcher sites in school yard. July 22, 2014

Another UNRWA school is found to be a storage spot for untold number of Hamas missiles.

Ben Gurion International Airport - nearly empty as the U.S. imposes a ban on flights to Israel, caving to Hamas missile attacks.

Former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg defied a flight ban imposed by an Obama administration cowed by terror, flying to Israel with El Al.

Wounded Golani commander returns to his troops on July 22, 2014.

Golani brigade commander was hospitalized after being wounded, but he returned to the battlefield to complete the mission.

Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation

The Ruderman Family Foundation rewards Jewish organizations for promoting inclusion of those with disabilities.

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

Israel’s transportation minister said cancelling flights to Israel is like handing a prize to terrorists.

Ban ki-Moon and John Kerry might have some credibility if they would talk peace with terrorists in Syria.

“Like all mothers of soldiers, I pray that this ends peacefully, that all the boys come home safe-and-sound,” Ruthie says.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said Tuesday that he respects the legitimacy of Israel’s right to defend itself, but also called on Israel to limit its reaction to ongoing Hamas rocket fire at Israeli civilians. According to a report on the Hebrew-language Ynet website, Mr Ban also said his organization rejected the terror gang’s […]

Left-wing Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday that no ceasefire is imminent between Israel and Hamas, and added that the current military operation in the Gaza Strip was “unavoidable.” Speaking to Army Radio, Livni said there is no substance to Palestinian reports earlier in the day that Israel and the terrorists were considering an additional […]

Six IDF soldiers wounded in Gaza have showed significant improvement at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva, Israel Radio reported. Three soldiers have been downgraded from “serious” condition to “moderate,” and three additional soldiers are now listed as “lightly injured.” One hundred fourteen soldiers are currently hospitalised as the result of the fighting.

Leading US paper interviews Hamas leader, shocked to ‘discover’ interview takes place in civilian hospital.

PM meets wounded soldiers at Ashkelon hospital, tells foreign diplomats they have moral obligation to support Israel.

As of this writing, Code Red rocket alerts were sounded in the following locations Tuesday: 10:28 pm  Be’er Sheva Shoval, Rahat and surrounds 9:56 pm Be’er Sheva, Hatzerim, Tifrach, Meitar and surrounds 9:17 pm Lod, Yavneh, Kiryat Akron, Gedera, Ramle, Gan Yavneh, Kfar Bilu, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi 9:00 pm  Bat Yam, Rishon L’Tsion, Rechovot, Modi’in, Macabim […]

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni said Tuesday that the funeral of Jordan Ben-Simon, a lone IDF soldier killed in Gaza yesterday, would be limited to 300 attendees due to the threat of rocket attacks.  Following the outpouring of support for lone soldiers yesterday, when more than 20,000 people created a mass funeral for lone soldier Sean Carmeli, […]

Teenage member of MK Zoabi’s clan making name for self as pre-eminent Arab supporter of Israel.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Gunfight in Gaza

Gunfight between Golani soldiers and terrorists in Gaza

Arabs in Ramallah celebrating rumors of a kidnapping.

I guess when you can’t have a real victory in your genocidal attempts to wipe out the Jewish state, celebrating a kidnapping that apparently didn’t happen is the next best thing.

Latest updates on Color Red incoming rocket alerts from The Jewish Press.com .

The above appears to have been published in the British Telegraph on Friday. Remember, you read it here first.

A reservist says good-bye to his family, near the entry point to Gaza.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/64-year-old-polish-jew-celebrates-bar-mitzvah-at-the-kotel/2013/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: