40 Miles From Auschwitz, Poland’s Jewish Community Is Beginning to Thrive

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Poland, where 1,000 years of Jewish history went up in flames over seven decades ago, is home to one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the world.

In 1939, Poland was home to 3.5 million Jews, Europe’s largest Jewish population. On the eve of the Holocaust, 10% of Poles were Jewish. (For comparison, less than 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish.)

In 1939, the city of Krakow was home to 70,000 Jews, a quarter of the city’s population. Today around 100 Jews live there—or at least that’s what the guidebooks say.

According to Jonathan Ornstein, executive director of JCC Krakow, that figure is actually closer to 2,000 and steadily rising. High-ranking members of the Jewish community estimate there are now 30,000 Jews among Poland’s 38 million citizens, up from 10,000 in 2007—and say there could be many more still unaware of their ancestry.

Among its events and workshops, JCC Krakow now offers genealogy services to help people trace their Jewish roots, and Shabbat dinners where gentile visitors can learn more about the community. In 2017, the center opened Krakow’s first new Jewish community preschool since the Holocaust.

Read more at TIME.



  1. Why would a Jew want to stay in Poland, or other European countries for that matter?! Whatever kedusha that used to be in Eastern Europe came from the Jewish population; now that the Jews are gone, there’s nothing special about these places; so why flock to Europe and feed the murderers of our people? Masochism or stubborn idiocy?


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