While in Warsaw in October 2012, Poland Liaison
Chairman, Andrew Rajcher, was interviewed by the Kol
Polin service of national broadcaster Polskie Radio.
Andrew was interviewed, in English, by Polskie Radio's
Hagay Hacohen. To listen to that interview, simply click on
the link below.
Since the fall of communism in 1989, the Jewish Community in Poland has been gradually
re-emerging and, today, is enjoying a revitalisation. Some estimates put the size of
the Jewish community as high as 30,000.
With a new democratic and more liberal Poland, people who had previously hidden their Jewish
identity are now acknowledging themselves as Jews and, every day, more people are discovering
their true background which had hitherto been hidden from them for numerous reasons.
As well as in Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and Łódż,
Jewish communities are now active in many other cities around Poland. In Częstochowa,
Lublin, Gdańsk, Poznań, Bielsko Biała, Katowice and
many other places, Jewish communal activity has re-emerged and is growing.
But, unlike us in Australia with a Jewish communal infrastructure that is the envy of the Jewish diaspora
around the world, every little bit of Yiddishkeit and every stage of growth in Jewish communal life
in Poland is still a struggle.
One of our major tasks will be to support and promote
The Museum of the History of Polish
Jews, constructed on the site of the ghetto in Warsaw and due to officially open in early 2014. Naturally,
much has been established to memorialise the horrific events and consequences of the Holocaust. However, this
Museum will be dedicated to documenting Jewish life in Poland over 700 years - before and after World War II.
Jews contributed much to Polish society over the centuries - in science, medicine, law, literature, as artists
and as educators. This rich history must be preserved - and for that reason, this Museum is vitally important.
Polish-Jewish dialogue in Poland today is growing, particularly among the post-communist, educated young.
There is a growing understanding and acceptance of the past, both the good and the bad. A new spirit of positive
co-operation has emerged. Young Catholic Poles, more than ever before, are expressing an interest in the Jewish
history of their country. This dialogue and interest needs to be nurtured and encouraged.
All too often today, Poland is depicted as being merely the largest Jewish graveyard in history. That is true -
it IS the largest Jewish graveyard in history, But, today, it is MUCH MORE than that. It is home to a modern,
growing Jewish community that will not, and should not, be ignored. We are fortunate to be living within the
Australian Jewish community. However, what goes with that is an obligation to support our fellow Jews in Poland.
If you are interested in becoming involved in this part of the ASPJ's activities, please contact our Chairperson
on +61 (0)417 013 690 or email email@example.com.