First full-time rabbi in Krakow since Holocaust

Organization sends rabbi to rekindle Jewish life after Holocaust, fall of Communism.

krakow 88 (photo credit:)
krakow 88
(photo credit: )
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. “The challenge is immense, as is the responsibility,” Rabbi Flaks said, “but 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 Jews”. Shavei Israel, which reaches out to “lost Jews” 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 “hidden children,” Jews adopted by Catholic families during WWII who have only recently began to reconnect to their Jewish roots. “In 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,” said Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund. “Many 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,” he said.
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