Poles apart

Jewish leaders in Poland go head-to-to for power, prestige, and money.

February 6, 2013 13:19
Jews in southern Poland

Jews in Poland 370. (photo credit: Cnaan Liphshiz)


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The Jews of Poland are involved in a bitter conflict. This time, however, the foe is not external; this time, it is an internecine battle for power and prestige – and the control of vast funds. On one side of the divide sits the Orthodox community, Twarda, named for the street in Warsaw on which its offices and the Nozyk synagogue are located. The other combatant is Beit Polska, the Progressive Jewish community of Poland.

In 1995, Severyn Ashkenazy, 60 at the time, a Polish-American Jew, decided to establish a progressive community in Poland; and together with his son and a few friends, he founded Beit Warszawa – the Progressive Jewish community of Warsaw.


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