Warsaw

A Jewish Tree Grows In Poland?

09/10/1999
Staff Writer
Warsaw, Poland — Konstanty Gebert likes to compare this city’s fledgling Jewish community to a sapling cut from a tree, replanted, and now forging its own identity. What this journalist and Jewish community leader doesn’t like are Jewish critics who state that Poland’s struggling Jewish community is irrelevant or dead. Like the famous Mark Twain quip, Gebert insists that such reports are highly exaggerated.

Remembering Marek Edelman

10/06/2009
Staff Writer
The best advice I ever received about a forthcoming interview concerned a septuagenarian cardiologist in Warsaw. I was about to interview Dr. Marek Edelman, the last-surviving commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in 1993 for a series of stories commemorating the event’s 50th anniversary. A Polish Jew who knew him told me what to expect: Dr. Edelman would give me some time, but if he felt bored he’d probably walk away without warning.

In The Bat Mitzvah Spirit

06/17/2005
Staff Writer
Among the concerns for the Lippmans of the Upper East Side in planning their daughter Juliet's bat mitzvah last fall was how to give the occasion some spiritual significance. "What should we do so it's not just a party?" Marie Lippman asked a friend, Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Tenafly, N.J., over lunch at a Midtown restaurant a few months before the bat mitzvah. Rabbi Lewittes answered by telling a story she had just read in Rabbi Daniel Gordis' on-line column from Israel.

In The Bat Mitzvah Spirit

06/17/2005
Staff Writer
Among the concerns for the Lippmans of the Upper East Side in planning their daughter Juliet's bat mitzvah last fall was how to give the occasion some spiritual significance. "What should we do so it's not just a party?" Marie Lippman asked a friend, Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Tenafly, N.J., over lunch at a Midtown restaurant a few months before the bat mitzvah. Rabbi Lewittes answered by telling a story she had just read in Rabbi Daniel Gordis' on-line column from Israel.

Saving Cemeteries Here And Abroad

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
Jack Goldfarb's first memories of Staszow were second-hand. As a child in Philadelphia, the son of immigrants, he heard his parents' stories, in Yiddish, about landsmen in Staszow. He heard about heroic relatives in that market town in south-central Poland who defied the Nazis during World War II and paid with their lives. He heard about the postcards with news of the mishpocha crammed in tiny Yiddish letters that would arrive several times a year, until the war started.

Polish Jewish Museum A Tough Sell Here

05/19/2006
Staff Writer
Victor Markowicz, a Siberian-born philanthropist who grew up in Poland and later moved to the United States, spends much of his time these days asking fellow Jewish philanthropists in the U.S. to contribute to a Jewish museum to be built in Warsaw in the next few years. Markowicz's friends, in turn, ask him something: "Why in Warsaw? Why in Poland?" Many American Jews (born here or in the Old Country) support the idea of a museum devoted to Jews from Poland, to which a majority of American Jewry can trace their roots.

Polish Jewry’s New Independence

04/30/2008
Staff Writer
Warsaw — Since he first came here from Israel 14 years ago to help rebuild Jewish life here in the Polish capital, Yossi Erez has threatened that his retirement, and his return to Israel, was imminent. A Polish-born Jew who made aliyah with his family in 1947 and served as an Israeli Army psychiatrist, Erez served as the Polish representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, training young community leaders and coordinating educational programs and waiting until he wasn’t needed on a daily basis anymore. That day came two weeks ago.

Mixed Record On Return Of Property

04/30/2008
Staff Writer
Lublin, Poland — On the first two nights of Passover, the ground floor of a former medical academy near Lublin’s historic Old City was crowded by early evening with members of the Jewish community. Children played for hours in the hallways while senior citizens schmoozed in a small office. After sundown, joined by other members of the community and a Jewish choir from Warsaw, they filed into a social hall for the seders; afterward, they stayed to play and shmooze some more.

A Partisan Comic Strip

02/10/2006
Staff Writer
A U.S. Army reconnaissance unit parachutes into Vilna in 1943. Surrounded by the Nazi and Russian armies, under heavy shelling, the American soldiers rendezvous with a Lithuanian partisan, a bearded hulk of a man named Bear. Stepping out of the rubble, Bear declares "We got package for you, very valuable, very ... breakable."

Poland Confronts History

04/23/2008
Staff Writer
Warsaw — The Jews of Poland marked an important anniversary last week, and the world paid attention.
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