Friday, December 08, 2006

Poland And The Jews

This article on the Aish website caught me eye, because I knew Rabbi Schudrich back when I was at Columbia University--before he was a rabbi.
Poland and the Jews
by Rabbi Michael Schudrich

An interview with Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Poland's Chief Rabbi.

"The subject of Jews and Poland involves three interrelated matters. The first concerns what is currently happening to the Jews living in Poland. The second is Poland's Jewish heritage, including its physical remnants: cemeteries, synagogues, communal and private property. The third has to do with the nature of Polish-Jewish relations."

Rabbi Michael Schudrich began working in Poland in 1990. He has been Rabbi of Warsaw and Lodz since 2000, and since 2004 has also served as Chief Rabbi of Poland. As often happens, a particular incident made his name internationally known. On a Shabbat at the end of May 2006, he was punched and pepper-sprayed by an attacker in a Warsaw street who shouted "Poland for the Poles." Nevertheless, Schudrich does not feel fearful in Poland.

Although his is not a Polish state title, he is de facto recognized by the government as the senior religious representative of Polish Jewry. Schudrich remarks: "When it is appropriate, the government invites me as 'clergy' -- that is, a minority theologian. This includes the inauguration of a new president and the first meeting of the new Sejm -- parliament."
You can read the rest of the article and the interview here.

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