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The Shavei Israel organization reported Sunday that Krakow will have its first full-time rabbi in the six decades since the Holocaust.
The Jerusalem-based organization dispatched Rabbi Avraham Flaks, 38, to Krakow after Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich requested that a rabbi be sent to the city.
Rabbi Flaks was excited about his new position. â€œThe challenge is immense, as is the responsibility,â€ Rabbi Flaks said, â€œbut I look forward to working together with the community and its leadership to help keep the flame of Judaism burning brightly in Krakow, particularly among the younger generation of Polish Jewsâ€.
Shavei Israel, which reaches out to â€œlost Jewsâ€ and tries to reconnect them with the Jewish community, will try to rekindle Jewish life in the city after the bulk of its Jewish residents were murdered by Nazis.
The organization reported that of the 1,000 Krakow residents who are Jewish, only 200 are members of the Jewish community. Since the fall of Communism in 1989, people in the city have begun to uncover their Jewish roots.
The city is filled with â€œhidden children,â€ Jews adopted by Catholic families during WWII who have only recently began to reconnect to their Jewish roots.
â€œIn a place where the Germans sought to erase all traces of Judaism, and nearly succeeded, it is gratifying to see that Jewish life still endures,â€ said Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund.
â€œMany of Poland's 'hidden Jews' are seeking to reconnect with the Jewish people, and we must do what we can to help them return. Six decades after the Holocaust, the best revenge is to rebuild Jewish life and to bring as many of these people back as possible,â€ he said.