Krakow Jewish community: ‘All Jews should be welcomed, not only Chabad’

In a press conference held on Saturday evening the official Krakow Jewish community claimed that the historic Izaak Synagogue ‘is not a supermarket.’

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July 9, 2019 06:56
2 minute read.
Krakow Jewish community: ‘All Jews should be welcomed, not only Chabad’

Jewish people in prayer outside Izaak Synagogue with a sign in front saying 'Private Property' ' . (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Jewish community of Krakow held a press conference on Saturday evening in which it addressed the ongoing protests after it decided to close Izaak Synagogue. The decision to remove the current Jewish community that uses the house of prayer, and to prevent them from collecting their personal prayer books or Kosher food, led to wide protests.

During the press conference Helena jakubowicz, who is the vice-president of the Jewish community with her father Tadeusz serving as the president, said that “Chabad has no chance to return to the synagogue.”

She claimed that once the site is renovated, it will be open to all people, not only members of Chabad.

Kuba Lewinger, speaking for the Jewish community, said that the main interest of the community is in having a prayer-house that is open to all Jewish cultures, not only Chabad.



He slammed Chabad Rabbi Eliezer Gurary for offering Kosher food at the site with the argument Krakow already has kosher stores. According to Lewinger, the rabbi objected to a Kosher store being over-run by a Christian person.

Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich argued that the synagogue was, in fact, open to all Jewish people to pray in and Lewinger said Schudrich is only in Krakow ‘on occasion” and his opinion is based on “third party hearsay.”

Schudrich attempted to break into the prayer house but was unable to do so and briefly detained by police. 

One of the users on social media wrote that she wonders “what person can lie without blinking” and that “this wasn’t a press conference” as it was entirely one sided. “You are only guided by private interests and care only for you own wallets,” she wrote.     

Gurary raged against what he called "a factory of lies," saying that "this Jewish community is beyond belief."

According to Gurary, the community does not, and never did support any Jewish group, not to mention Chabad,

"All it did was ask Jewish groups to support it, not the other way around," he told The Jerusalem Post. He said that Chabad actually gave the Jewish community kosher food to use at their own events.

Head of the Israeli rabbinate rabbi Yitzhak Yosef sent a letter to the European rabbinate center, saying that "I received with great sadness your letter regarding the closure of the synagogue in Krakow."

"There is none and cannot be any justification to interrupting the daily routine of the prayers at any synagogue in the world...In any way, people cannot be barred from entering a synagogue," rabbi Yosef wrote.

 


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