• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


  • NEWS

  • 6 November 2017

    Organized during the Holocaust Education Week, the discussion ‘Poland 1989. The Renaissance begins’ held at the Innis Town Hall was a unique opportunity to hear the voices of witnesses of the revival of Jewish life and culture in Poland after the fall of Communism.

    The conversation featured Marek Zając, Secretary of the International Auschwitz Council, Eli Rubenstein, National Director of the March of the Living Canada, Jonathan Ornstein, Director of the Jewish Community Centre of Kraków, with the special participation of the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich. The event was hosted by Franklin Bialystok, Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College, University of Toronto.


    The Chief Rabbi began the meeting with a blessing and a joint singing. The conversation between our guest speakers focused on unprecedented revival of Jewish life and culture after 1989 and challenges which are before us. The guests underlined that Poland right now is a very vibrant place. Marek Zając gave an example of Krakow’s district Kazimierz. ‘When I was a kid, it was a very dangerous to go there (…) now It’s a lively place, with open Synagogues, and an amazing Jewish Culture Festival’ he said. Also Eli Rubenstein, the National Director of the March of the Living Canada, stressed that the largest group at the March of the Living are non-Jewish Poles. Jonathan Ornstein talked about the revival of Jewish studies saying that when he was teaching Hebrew at the Jagiellonian University, he was stunned by the number of non-Jewish Polish students who were learning about the Jewish culture and language. Talking about complicated Polish-Jewish relations, the Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich reminded us that it was Saint John Paul II who brought relations between Christians & Jews from neutral to positive. At the end of the meeting our guests agreed that one of the biggest challenges they’re facing now is educating next generation and remembering to not lose these beautiful things we achieved.


    The program was presented On Saturday November 4th at the Innis Town Hall in Toronto by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto and March of the Living Canada. Within the framework of the 37th Neuberger Holocaust Education Week, that examines this year the post-Holocaust period, and the specific events that have shaped our understanding of the Holocaust.


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