ICJW's President Robyn Lenn was hosted in Krakow by the new local affiliate
Anna Makówka and members of
I began my
visit to ICJW's Polish affiliate by meeting several members of the organisation
in their premises in Kraków on the evening I arrived. It was November 9, the
anniversary of Kristallnacht, and we marked the commemoration with a short
ceremony in which each of us lit a candle.
Jewish Association was formed in 2004,
being to preserve Jewish identity in Poland. Within the CZULENT premises I was
shown rooms which the members have set up for specific use,
such as the
Remoh Jewish Library, opened in 2005.
collection of Polish, English, Hebrew and Yiddish books cover many topics.
painted room is used for the Sunday school which opened in 2014 and now teaches
forty children. The Kraków Chabad rabbi teaches the children.
a strong social awareness program which includes educating
antisemitism and homophobia, while promoting human rights, gender equality and
members are very committed and loyal, one member
who lives in
Warsaw travelled to Kraków particularly to meet me and
around Jewish Kraków. I learnt that CZULENT members remain part of this
organisation even when they move to other cities or even other countries.
when CZULENT became an affiliate of ICJW,
their project “Antisemitism Is Not An Opinion!” with a small grant. This
publication of Polish school books on this topic.
members of CZULENT, all young women plus two husbands, supervised my visit to
I was introduced to the two
rabbis resident in Krakó: Rabbi Eliezer Gurary , the rabbi of Chabad
Tanya Segal, rabbi of Beit Kraków, the Progressive congregation . Rabbi Gurary
drove me to see the Chabad educational premises as well as informing me about
the C16 synagogue in which he works. Rabbi Segal invited me to enter
(Temple ) synagogue .
something about Jewish life in Kraków; approximately 500 Jews are active in
the Jewish community
but there are probably many more Jews in the city.
discussions with both rabbis, I spoke about the work of ICJW, its values,
aspirations, its important NGO representation, and its strong affiliate
I enjoyed the
opportunity of exploring
my walks were conducted by four
knowledgeable CZULENT members. I visited
synagogues, dating back five hundred years,
Jewish exhibitions and bookshops. I had dinner with some members at the Klezmer
restaurant with delightful live Klezmer music.
following night, together with three CZULENT members, I attended the orthodox
Friday night Shabbat service in the Remoh synagogue, followed by Shabbat dinner
in a nearby building. The dinner was hosted by the Kraków Jewish Community and
I took the opportunity of introducing myself to its president.
and two of its members took me to Auschwitz, where an excellent English-speaking
guide guided us
around the large area of the
Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.
This was a
heartrending experience which I will never forget.
pleased to visit ICJWs Polish affiliate CZULENT. Its work in the small Jewish
community in Kraków has succeeded in making a real difference. ICJW is proud to
count CZULENT among its valued