An open letter from the Rabbi of the Lodz Jewish Community
To whom it may concern,
First, I would like to express my deepest admiration for all you have done for those fleeing their homes in the face of this war between Russian and Ukraine. It is awe inspiring to witness the global efforts to help fellow Jews in need, sending echoes to Jews around the world that there is no nation like Klal Yisrael. May G-d continue to strengthen your efforts, and may we see more peaceful days.
We Jews in Lodz face growing difficulties. Our community is home to about 150 members, most of which are elderly and retired, some Holocaust survivors, and live off of financial support from the government. Though seated in a city rich with Jewish history we are a dwindling community, who’s primary income comes from Jewish international tourism whom we lovingly welcome in our hotel, our synagogue, and provide meaningful resources to navigate through our cemetery and genealogy researches to help reconnect them to their rich heritage.
We emerged from the epidemic period struggling to keep up with basic costs of maintaining our community and tending to our member’s needs. By the time our first guests arrived, fleeing a war that had swallowed their homes, their belongings and dreams, we were not prepared.
Regardless, our community organized in incredible ways, springing to help make them as welcome and as comfortable as we could with what we have.
But unfortunately, it’s not enough.
Out of the 45 refugees we’ve received, almost half are children some of which are special needs, whom had been without educational resources and formal activities since their arrival. We have begun efforts to disperse them into the Polish schooling system, despite the overwhelming language and cultural barriers.
As for our adult guests, many of whom arrived with medical conditions and suffer from PTSD, we’ve managed to connect to local social services, and find work opportunities to give them a sense of independence.
With G-ds help we’ve just managed to provide our guests with basic accommodation in our hotel, hot meals during the week, and although they face the undeniable pain of not knowing what the future holds we are able to provide them with some stability, a sense of community, nightly Torah classes and discussions, to strengthen morale, intellect and the spirit.
But we are in the dire position of approaching a financial cliff edge. Our finances are dwindling and the prospect of not being able to provide our vulnerable guests with basic necessities is a soon to become frightening reality.
With your help we can secure the most critical resource in this moment; hope, for us and for them.
We hope to be able to continue our efforts in providing daily food, shelter, hygienic goods, educational and entertainment resources for our children.
We hope to provide as stable ground as we can, as our brothers and sisters look into the unknown and consider their next steps in rebuilding their lives.
Please find a thorough list of our expenses to better understand our situation. May we be blessed to always be on the giving side,
With respect and admiration, humbly yours,
Rabbi of the Lodz-Polish Jewish Community
$20 Cling plastic wrap
$13 dishwasher soap
$160 personal hygiene kits
$24 floor soap
$80 toilet paper
$120 hand towels
$18 aluminum foil
$20 baking sheets
$15 Tissues for Shabbat
$70 garbage bags
$180 Bathroom spray
$40 bell peppers
$4840 per month