During a recent visit to Los Gatos, Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, told visitors a common Polish story of the last half decade.
A young man comes to him and says, “Rabbi, I want to become Jewish.” The man is a born Catholic, and for some reason, now feels called to Judaism. Trying to be polite, Schudrich tells him he will have to keep Shabbos, wear teffillin, pray. “Hoping to scare him away,” Rabbi Schudrich jokes.
But the man perseveres. Months later the man visits his mother, who has heard about his Jewish pursuits. She lets her son in on a long kept family secret. Her maiden name had really been Bernstein. They had been Jewish all along.
Newly discovered Jewish adults are emerging in greater numbers in Poland in the last half-decade, in large part thanks to the Jewish Heritage Initiative in Poland....
Rabbi Schudrich (and the Jewish Heritage Initiative) emphasize the need not only to support the remerging Jewish community in Poland, but to acknowledge the contributions of pre-World War II Poland. It was Poland’s Jewish, Ashkenazic culture, Klezmer music, folklore, art, food and traditions that have created the fabric of American Jewish life.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
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