Michael Schudrich

‘We Lost A Friend’

Polish president, victim of plane crash in Russia,
had close ties to the Jewish community.

04/13/2010
Special to The Jewish Week

Note: The Polish people suffered a loss when President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other passengers on a Russian jet, including many top Polish officials, were killed in a crash Saturday near Smolensk, Russia. Jewish leaders in Poland praised Kaczynski, 60, as a true friend of the Jewish community and Israel, and participants in the annual March of the Living wore black armbands this week in the president’s memory.

Late Polish President Lech Kaczynki, right, with Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich at Chanukah celebration in Warsaw shul.

Slow Jewish Revival In Gdansk

A Passover seder on the Baltic is a rare chance for isolated Jews to celebrate together.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Gdansk, Poland – Marianna Grochola left her home at 11:30 a.m. last Monday for a 6:45 p.m. seder.

A widow and retired accountant, a child survivor of the Holocaust who grew up in communist Poland, Grochola took a bus to her railroad station in Slupsk, a small town 120 miles west of Gdansk. Then she took a slow train north, then walked a few miles from the main railroad station here to the city’s sole extant synagogue, the site of the first-night seder.

Marianna Grochola, travels 120 miles from her small town in northern Poland to a seeder in Gdansk each year.

Death Camp Dispute

07/11/2003
Staff Writer
How best to honor the memory of half a million Jews buried in the horrific and long-neglected Belzec death camp in southeastern Poland? That's the heart of a running dispute pitting several rabbis and Jewish organizations that support the approved design plan against New York activist Rabbi Avi Weiss, who insists the plan desecrates the victims and violates Jewish law. The dispute echoes the debate in New York City over the memorial for the Sept. 11 World Trade Center victims.

Kosher In The 'Polish White House'

05/09/2003
Staff Writer
Moshe Katzav's visit to Poland last week was strictly kosher. For the first time, the kitchens of the Presidential Palace and of the Belweder Palace, the "Polish White House," were koshered in honor of the Israeli president's state visit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

A Memorial Grows In Staszow

01/30/2009
Staff Writer
Staszow, a shtetl in southeast Poland on the road between Kielce and Sandomierz, was home to Jews for two and a half centuries, until the Holocaust left the village judenrein. Among the Staszow Jews were the Goldfarbs, Jack Goldfarb’s forebears. When the Philadelphia-born freelance writer first visited his ancestral homeland a half century ago, he found no trace of Staszow’s original Jewish cemetery. A newer Jewish burial ground, two-thirds of a mile from the center of the village, was an open, empty lot on a tree-lined hill.

A Memorial Grows In Staszow

01/30/2009
Staff Writer
Staszow, a shtetl in southeast Poland on the road between Kielce and Sandomierz, was home to Jews for two and a half centuries, until the Holocaust left the village judenrein. Among the Staszow Jews were the Goldfarbs, Jack Goldfarb’s forebears. When the Philadelphia-born freelance writer first visited his ancestral homeland a half century ago, he found no trace of Staszow’s original Jewish cemetery. A newer Jewish burial ground, two-thirds of a mile from the center of the village, was an open, empty lot on a tree-lined hill.

Balancing Hate, Renaissance In Poland

A native of Patchogue, L.I., Rabbi Michael Schudrich has worked overseas much of his adult life. The chief rabbi of Poland since 2000, he earlier served with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation there, and also worked in Japan. In Poland, he is a witness to th

05/08/2009
Staff Writer
Q: A prominent Israeli rabbi recently advised that no Jews should go to Poland, and no school City Winery groups should go there, because it’s a land of “Nazi collaborators.” How’s that playing in Warsaw? A: Not too many people heard about it — it didn’t make it into the mainstream press. For those people who heard about it, it was hurtful. It’s simply a falsification of history to say that all Poles were collaborators. That is something that we as Jews should be very sensitive to.

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.

Balancing Hate, Renaissance In Poland

05/06/2009
Staff Writer
A native of Patchogue, L.I., Rabbi Michael Schudrich has worked overseas much of his adult life. The chief rabbi of Poland since 2000, he earlier served with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation there, and also worked in Japan. In Poland, he is a witness to the Jewish community’s post-communist revival.

Remembering Marek Edelman

10/09/2009
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.
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