Polish Jews hail restoration of destroyed yeshiva

February 11, 2007 20:06

Hundreds of Polish Jews broke into joyful applause Sunday as the country's chief rabbi unveiled the first restoration work at what was once a famed center of religious learning - an emotional moment in the revival of Poland's small but growing Jewish community. To the strains of a triumphant Hassidic march, Rabbi Michael Schudrich and two other Jewish leaders were lifted high into the air by a crane to unveil the name of the school, Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin. The inscription, in Polish and Hebrew letters, and the elegant columned yellow building stand as a testament to the Jewish life and learning that flourished in the eastern Polish city before it was destroyed by the Holocaust. "This was very moving, very stirring," said Michael Traison, a 60-year-old American lawyer who attended. "We lost all those people in the Holocaust, but now we see a birth of Jewish identification by people who didn't feel free to express that for so long."

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