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Rabbi Chester's Trip to Poland—Day 3

04/14/2022 11:08:08 AM


Wednesday, the last day of our mission, we spent in Krakow. First we went to another humanitarian center. It was in a massive, unoccupied mall that has been put to use for refugees. As you can see in the photo, it looks like a department store. The refugees are let in at 10:00 and are able to “shop” for what they need. This gives them dignity as they are not just handed something but choose themselves. They do not pay for anything. What they need the most are underwear and shoes.  

Next, the mayor of Krakow addressed us and told us everything Krakow has done for the refugees. He told us that Kraków’s population is around 700,000 people and there are 100,000 refugees there. After lunch ,we went to the JCC’s warehouse and sorted our group‘s bags. Then we returned to the JCC for wrap-up and dinner.

A few observations:

1. The JCC is doing a wonderful job in furthering Jewish life in Krakow.

2. The JCC, in partnership with many organizations in Krakow, is serving the refugees, both Jewish and non-Jewish, excellently. They are running a preschool, a women’s group, English and Polish classes and more. Also, they provide needed goods and psychological support.

3. The CEO of the center, Jonathan Ornstein, is dynamic and a great leader.

4. This was one of the most moving things I have ever done. While this war is going on, I encourage you to continue to support the JCC in Krakow. In doing so, you will be helping the refugees in the best way possible as they will be able to buy food, medicines, shoes and clothing for the refugees.

5. Almost all the refugees are women, children and the elderly. They need our help.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Sat, September 23 2023 8 Tishrei 5784