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Lodz, Poland - Polish City Of Lodz Has 1st Jewish Festival In Decades

Published on: June 12, 2019 11:00 PM
By: JTA
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Rabbi Dawid Szychowski telling journalists about the Festival of Tranquility that he launched in Lodz, Poland on June 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Shvei Israel)Rabbi Dawid Szychowski telling journalists about the Festival of Tranquility that he launched in Lodz, Poland on June 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Shvei Israel)

Lodz, Poland - The city of Lodz, once a major Jewish hub in Poland, hosted its first Jewish festival in decades.

Hundreds attended the Festival of Tranquility last week in the central city over the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

Drawing on similar events in Krakow, Warsaw, Budapest and other cities throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the Lodz festival featured films, Torah study sessions, workshops in calligraphy and cooking, and a concert.

The event was organized by Rabbi Dawid Szychowski, the envoy of the Shavei Israel group from Israel, which facilitates the return to Judaism of descendants of Jews, among other activities.

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Lodz, about 80 miles from Warsaw, was historically home to one of the country’s most vibrant Jewish communities – and one of the largest ghettos during the Holocaust. But Jewish life all but disappeared from there in 1944, according to Michael Freund, the founder of Shavei Israel.

Nearly all of the ghetto’s 164,000 residents were murdered in the Holocaust, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, along with 90 percent of Poland’s pre-Holocaust Jewish population of 3 million.

Many survivors hid their Jewish roots to the best of their ability, including from their children.

“Despite the fact that thousands of young Poles had parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents who had to hide their Jewish identity for decades, Judaism has witnessed a revival in Poland since the downfall of communism and we are happy that we can celebrate it,” Freund said.



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Read Comments (2)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 13, 2019 at 11:23 AM Granny Says:

Really, there's no place else in the world to live than in Lodz?

2

 Jun 13, 2019 at 09:48 PM Haimov Says:

And all so called jewish performers are polish

3

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