Krakow community blocks Chabad synagogue

Dispute leads Krakow Jewish community to hire security guards to block access to synagogue leased by Chabad community.

Cnaan Lipshitz/JTA,

View from inside the Izaak Synagogue
View from inside the Izaak Synagogue
Flash 90

Security guards prevented worshipers from entering one of Krakow’s synagogues amid a property use dispute between its Chabad-affiliated rabbi and others from the city’s tiny Orthodox Jewish community.

On Monday, guards from a private security firm wearing balaclavas blocked the entrance to the so-called Izaak Synagogue, Gazeta Wyborca reported. The regular worshipers called police, who arrived at the scene.

The Chabad community have been leasing the building from the Jewish Community of Krakow, which is not affiliated with Chabad, since 2008, according to the report. A representative of the Chabad congregation told the daily that it has a valid lease on the building.

The Jewish Community of Krakow, which last month faced protests for its leasing of a former synagogue to serve as a bar cafe, shut down the water and electricity to the building recently in a bid to get the Chabad congregation to leave, the article said.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency was not able to reach leaders of the Jewish Community of Krakow for a comment on Monday morning. Attempts to reach them by the Polish daily also were unsuccessful.

The Chabad-congregation members prayed outside the locked synagogue.




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