Impressions in Lodz, Poland
We recently sponsored and participated in the Experiential Seminar in Poland on Polish Judaism and Hasidism, Past and Present that was attended by Shavei’s Chaya Castillo. One of the cities they visited that made an impression was Lodz, the third-largest city in Poland, located approximately 85 miles south of Warsaw. The Jews of Lodz formed the second largest Jewish community in prewar Poland, after Warsaw.
The experience started with a beautiful Shabbat in Lodz at the Jewish community complex there, headed by Rabbi Dawid Szychowski.
Touring the city was very meaningful. The cemetery was a very special experience visiting with Dina Feldman and Naftali Pisman who have Jewish roots in that very community.
In another area of Lodz is the Broken Heart Monument (Children’s Martyrdom Monument) monument in memory of the Jewish orphans of the community, many of whom lived and died in a separate ghetto for children ages 3-16 during the Holocaust. It was extremely difficult to imagine what happened there, and emotional.
The Marek Edelman Dialogue Center there has a special exhibition on Judaism where they promote empathy for others in children in order to educate them for the future. It’s important to see that Polish people have taken responsibility for remembering and speaking about Jews and Judaism, especially in such a central Polish city, that they are recognizing the importance of their Jewish past.
Below you can see some of the moving photographs from the trip to Lodz