Jewish communities help Warsaw's Jews rediscover faith

Jewish Agency launches unique partnership between Jewish communities in America, Israel, Poland.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jews in Poland
Jews in Poland
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

In its latest contribution to the Jewish renaissance in Poland and in re-emerging Jewish communities throughout Europe, The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) Peoplehood Platform has added the Polish capital of Warsaw as the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s third partner region within the program, which creates enduring relationships between Israel and the Jewish communities of the Diaspora.

Polish Jews' roots and connections to Judaism and Jewish life were lost and suppressed during and after the Holocaust, in what Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich describes as an “ongoing process of discovery.” Now, P2G’s existing partnership between Pittsburgh and the northern Israeli regions of Karmiel and Misgav will have the opportunity to take part in that rebuilding process as Jews in Warsaw rediscover their Jewish faith and revive their culture. With Warsaw’s addition to its framework, this P2G partnership will forge unique trilateral bonds between American, Israeli, and Polish Jews.

The Jewish Agency’s P2G program connects hundreds of Jewish organizations and communities around the world in 46 partnerships. Each partnership provides opportunities for communities to connect, and for interpersonal relationships to flourish. In a shared committee process, more than 10,000 volunteers work together each year to determine the ways in which partnered communities engage with and support one another. Through hands-on projects and personal interactions that engage 350,000 Israelis and Jews each year, individuals and communities across the world learn from one another and experience the enriching reciprocal benefits of being part of the global Jewish family.

Pittsburgh is not the first city to extend its P2G platform to a third community. P2G’s Central Region Consortium/Western Galilee Partnership added the Hungarian capital of Budapest to its partnership about nine years ago.

“We include smaller Jewish communities in the Partnership2Gether Platform that do not have the capacity to maintain a traditional bilateral partnership, while simultaneously allowing individuals and communities to gain a more diversified and complex understanding of peoplehood,” said Director of the Partnership Unit at The Jewish Agency Andrea Arbel. “This process creates meaningful connections that support and uplift three or more communities at a time through their joint partnership activities, with Israel at the heart of it all.”

To kick off the new relationship, four representatives from the Warsaw Jewish community and Rabbi Schudrich will visit Karmiel/Misgav from June 16-19, 2019. The same four representatives will also come to Pittsburgh in December 2019. Warsaw’s addition to the partnership will not only strengthen Warsaw’s bond with Israel, but also further strengthen Pittsburgh’s connection to Israel.

“With Warsaw joining our relationship, we have a unique opportunity to make an imprint and impact on a Jewish community that has many young people involved who are eager to make connections with Jews from other communities and in Israel,” said Debbie Swartz, overseas planning associate at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.