Posted Dana Hadadi
As a secular Israeli Jew, I see fears of the un-known minority dictate extreme measures, that to the naked eye might be perceived as liberal, but actually are violently depriving me natural interest of my own culture. (“Judaism is theirs and not mine”).
Many cases of governmental political actions drive me and my peers to shut-down to our Judaism due to scenes that sometimes are even provoked deliberately by the media.
(Pointing wars, not only sells more, but also deviates the mind away from serious issues like fare-well state and environmental dilemmas. Blaming the “strangers” for our misery is so old age it’s embarrassing.)
As a woman, I find myself offended un-countable times by the same aggressive agents of the media, advocating gender equality via the individual story of 1 insanely stupid man, to tell the story of a community, when violating my rights constantly with images that, though well accepted, are disgraceful to me. (No, I wouldn’t be happier if I buy this boob operation, and please don’t ask me in a job interview when do I plan to give birth.).
When I come to march for the place of women in the world, I address first issues that bother me in the environment I live in, before I go and fix the Islamic society in Iran, or the ultra-orthodox society in “Me’ah She’arim”. My hero will fight for “outing” of the un-defined closets. It’s too easy to force outing to those who wear their differences loud and clear.
People choose to live in a community that respects their needs. It’s a basic expression of free will. Coming against habitants not fully comprehendible to us is just playing righteous.
Everybody’s looking to live in a neighborhood where they can practice their belief peacefully. (If it’s an artists’ community, vegans’ community or a scientific community).
I wish we would choose the material we consume brightly;
As I know plain simple sugar in big amounts can hurt my teeth, I also know- too much graphical yellow ridiculous figures don’t nourish well my brain.
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January 13, 2012 | 2:34 pm
Posted Dana Hadadi
Sarah, a 27 years old secular Hungarian Jew, is going to a Hanuka party in a synagogue in her town. She immediately feels at home: “These are my kind of people”, she declares, even though, most of them are complete strangers to her.
“What do you think bonded you there”? Dana asks, “Must be the fact you were all gathered to lit the candles, I assume”.“No”, answers Sarah, “I do not get emotional by any symbolic ceremonies, as a matter of fact. It’s something else”. She continues:
“When I arrive to Jhony’s house party, everybody there are friends of Jhony’s. They attended the same school, or are going to the same work-place. The other way, they all remain in sects; no way to start a conversation with anyone if you are far from his closest circle. And as for myself, I do own some ‘Huzpa’”. “Will it be right to conclude, Judaism is a concept greater than Jhony in that case, that strikes down lines of educational background and social ‘clicks’?” “I wouldn’t say that. I would simply expect to find much more out-going chatty-like people when coming to explore the Jewish community in Budapest. Hungarians are known to be extremely touchy. Hungarian Jews tend more to take a joke”. “Why do you think that is”? “I don`t know for sure, but I guess it has something to do with the education. Not even. It is something transferred sub-consciously as you are brought up in a Jewish family, even if you don’t know it. After all, most of the Hungarian 3rd generation grew without any exposure to heritage influences. People didn’t light Hanuka candles or indicated Shabbat. The grandparents were obliged to hide their identities. (Some even changed their Jewish surnames.) Despite that, they came out to be some-kind of different persons. Do you see any children running around in a catholic church’s ail? You can see them in synagogues, though.
In the Jewish family childhood plays its role in the intrinsic dynamic. Kids’ voice matters, also the gradual responsibility they learn to accept. They therefore, grow up with a sense of confidence and greater ability to communicate with the world”.
As for Dana’s Hanuka, she spent one candle lightning evening with her favorite Hungarian family: Mom was the main chief of the brilliant cooking. Dad was managing the lovely ceremony, knowing every bit of Hebrew song perfectly, and little Shimi, was the head of our dessert: A fine game of spinning the draidle. All the grown-ups laid down their seriousness, and Shimi was giving orders- taking charge of our joy. Teaching us again the simplicity of playfulness.
Equality to me means also: our kids are no less important than out Rabies. They wave their curiosity over flags of big question-marks. Reminding us that reality we keep on fearfully put in little boxes of “facts” could be easily questioned. As we praise that, we let ourselves be enlightened by them, as they carry the most basic and natural intelligence of the “WHY”?
January 10, 2012 | 7:12 am
Posted Bożena Przewoźnik
Chmielnik the pre-war stetl in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains now takes many initiatives
to restore the memory about its former inhabitants. “Encounters with Jewish culture,” are organized there every year and Leopold Kozlowski - a world famous artist enriches them with his concerts.
On December 11th , 2011 a special ceremony was held : Leopold Kozłowski - an outstanding composer, pianist and conductor, and above all, “the last Klezmer in Galicia” got the title of the Honorary citizen of the Town by the resolution of the City Council .The event took place in the Chmielnik Cultural Center. It began with the multimedia presentation of the second part of the album ” Chmielnik – the memory, the people, the events”, then Mr. Kozlowski told a few words about himself , about being a klezmer musician and about his beloved town of Przemyślany.
The charming hero with his characteristic sense of humour and wit amused the audience. He did not hide his tears of emotion receiving from the hands of the Chmielnik Mayor, Yaroslav Zatorski, honorable title. In gratitude for award he played some klezmer tunes, for which everyone was very grateful and touched. Maestro, as he admitted himself - felt honored. He received many wishes from Chmielnik , representatives of Local Kielce City and neighbouring towns.
The title of Chmielnik Honorary Citizen is given to those who use their life and work for the benefits of the town and its community, leaving the sign of unusual activities, thus staying in the history of the town. At the moment Maestro Kozlowski is the sixth person with the title of Chmielnik Honorary Citizen.
The Board of Jewish Community in Cracow wants to congratulate
Mr. Leopold Kozłowski on this special occasion !
January 9, 2012 | 3:12 pm
Posted Bożena Przewoźnik
In 1630, the mayor of the city Christopher Goluchowski gave the Jews the privilege to settle there and to run a business, trade, open inns, vineyards and what` s the most important of all – the permission to built a synagogue and religious school. In accordance to this privilege a synagogue was erected in the year 1638 on the north of the old Jewish cemetery from 1556. Next to it appeared some buildings important to the community - the rabbi’s house, the Talmud – Torah house , mikvah, and the second religious school.
During the period of the Reformation, the town appeared to be one of the most strong centers of reform. After the expulsion of the Arians, the Jews inherited the business field , which soon brought material prosperity both to the city and its surroundings. The power of the Chmielnik Jews largely depended on the religious authorities of the local community, occupying a significant place in the life of the city.
Chmielnik was a subject to Vaad Hamedina in Cracow Kazimierz. Seventeenth century is characterized by high dynamics of the community’s economy . Most of the crop trade, animals, and wood were in the hands of Jewish merchants and brokers. they were also engaged in the cloth trade from Silesia and France. Having developed a symbiosis with the Catholics they had never been subject of persecution and discrimination. After regaining independence in 1921 Chmielnik had 7690 inhabitants, including 5,908 Jews. in 1929 the number of residents exceeded 10 thousand., out of which Jews made up 70%. We should pay attention to the quantitative and economic advantage: the Jews possessed 90.2% of shops in the city, the City Council comprised of 70%. The economical proportions were similar : 80% manufacturing and processing plants were in Jewish hands, the remaining 20% belonged to Catholics mainly engaged in agriculture. The major industry were a limestone mine, Chaim Frank Elijah Szlama lime, Deba Icek brewery, Icek Rajz winery, oil mill sof Brykmann, plant, carbonated water factory of Mosze Wesengarten. The special fattening farms Hmelnitski geese deserve a special attention as quite famous in the pre-war Europe.There were also some banks and credit institutions: Commercial Bank of Industry , Merchant Bank, Discount Bank and Cash Credit.
Political life of Chmielnik Jews flourished in the various parties and organizations, among them Agudas Isrolel (Aguda), Poale Right, Left Poale Zion, with its own library, and Mizrachi Jewish Scout Associatio - Brith Trumpeldor. On April 4th, 1935, the Aid Society For Poor and Sick Jews -Linas haCedek was created to support the needy ones financially and spiritually. The break of the World War II destroyed nearly 100% Chmielnik Jewish population, numbering at this time 5700 - 5900 inhabitants. As a result of refugees arrival, the Jewish population rapidly increased to 12.5 thousand. In early 1941, the Nazis established a ghetto, covering the whole city except streets adjacent to the fields. On 6 October 1942 continued liquidation of the Chmielnik ghetto. About 12 thousand. people were deported to the Treblinka death camp, the majority of them were exterminated at once. The liquidation of the ghetto was completed in March 1943 At the beginning of 1942 a compulsory labor camp for Jews was made, and it functioned to 9 March 1944. The Jews were subject to Nazis terror, expulsions, arrests, mass executions, depriving of the property. On a new cemetary established in 1820 on the Krucza Street in Chmielnik a monument dedicated to the memory of 250 Jewish inhabitants shot was erected.
After the war only a few Jews returned. The political situation – made it hard to reconstruct the Jewish life. Today in Chmielnik there is noone of the hundreds of the Holocaust survivors. There is only a memory and the silence of the stones.,
January 9, 2012 | 4:31 am
Posted by Klaudia Klimek
When becoming a president of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, Cracow (not religious organization) where the majority of members are people aged 50 + and a lot up, I expected to have a difficult task. One of the duties imposed upon my presidency was to attract more young Jews to the organization. Then it started to go its own way. Chanukah was approaching and what I wanted to propose during our dinner, would be something to attract them as much and give a sign that TSKZ Krakow is an organization open to young people. In the same time my colleague – Betty Q ,the first burlesque dancer in Poland , proposed to give a Chanukah show and I didn’t think about it for a long time. Finally I accepted the unconventional, as for our organization, performance, believing that it will be a clear message - I invite all young and creative.
The show was something different from the last year`s stetel songs… When the clothes were falling gracefully from Betty Q, I was wondering what the reaction of the guests was. Students watched it smiling with satisfaction in front of the older generation who seemed to have mixed feelings. There was a moment of doubt in my mind. Was it really a good idea? Was the audience prepared for this? All in all, I thought, they have what they wanted, they wanted a change and they got it. A few days after the performance a few days I tried to collect the opinions . Some positive, some not, but I have to admit that there were more positive than negative ones. I do not know if it was the result of the fact that the Jewish community likes me, or after all if they saw that a new board introduced some changes…
Interestingly, when Chanukah was gone and I started to think about Purim some voices of Polish and foreign establishment were heard.
The establishment spoke with disapproval asking whether it should`n be more serious, not so frivolous.
This time I didn`t think about pluses and minuses of my idea and its consequences. For me this was a break event, because the organization with tradition, the older generation and even senior management gave the green light to the unusual as for Polish Chanukah celebrations performance. I wondered why the others who are not having much to do with our community (because of the border) started to comment on a short clip of the event and spin arguments about the sacred nature and mood, which supposedly did not fit the Betty Q corsets . Of course, I answer that fitted. In America Jewish stars of burlesque win the first prizes, their dance is treated as an art, there are numerous Chanukah shows but was it enough respectable for the royal Krakow ? . This is really what shouldn`t be done ! Why – according to the general opinion – Polish Jews, still being object of fiery antisemitism should shows something more serious, more adequate to the climate of discrimination ?
I thought – ah-ha, the establishment woke up and begins to scold me . And that’s the point. Young people, Jewish community leaders, innovators and guides slowly began to occupy a higher seat, having a growing impact on the direction of major Jewish organizations and foundations. At last they began to broadcast on quite different wavelength. I understand that not everyone likes it and one not always sleeps well at night disturbed by some truth, that there comes a time of great change especially here between Eastern Europe Jewish communities where traditional governments kept steady and firm always based on strong “background”. Young people travel more often, thanks to various possibilities they attend various seminars and take part in many educational programs. They are clever enough to see that other countries keep up with the real life , and after coming back they see monotonous, conservative and full of prudery existence. So they come back and try to change their environment for the better, becoming the engine of change according to the Jewish philosophy - “leave behind a better world” and the lucky one who receives in this way specific support those around them. I have received this from my community and I thank for this already planning Purim. I`m going to keep on being active because young people are among us and the establishment instead of rising its finger may start to learn, because it always becomes to a Jew!
January 9, 2012 | 4:15 am
Posted Dana Hadadi- Israel/ Europe
Heading to take part inWING - the winter event in Italy I had some doubts. I’m definitely not a fan of organizers playing crucial part in designing my experience, not so much my thing. I rather believe in the random events life brings as I follow my individual path. So, this is what I finally did. I know that forming a target question while being on a quest, automatically leads you to answers you initially wished for automatically. (We are curious creatures, but with a strong affiliation to be affirmed). My findings might be dependent somehow on my personal agenda. I’m just lucky to have assign myself with one.
The affirmation of my query involves three main players:
The first one is a young Israeli visiting Italy, a former soldier in the IDF serving in Hevron, who (as an insider) drew me a brand new picture of a complex state our country is facing, He was the first Israeli I met and I must admit that Jews of Israel are gradually detaching from the Jewish culture they left in the Diaspora, as long as they are bound to be the dominant majority of the greatest Jewish community known as Israel. He holds this opinion as an educator of a critical historical Jewish movement which works in and outside Israel. (The movement of the 1st Kibbuzim)
The second is the vice-president of the Jewish community in Genova, working hard to keep his community alive. He described the Israel-Diaspora connection as inevitable in the utopic state to which we should aspire, with Jews contacting other Jews all over the world without boundaries or statuses. (He declined the definition I was trying to label him with- as a socialistic one).
The last, is a very famous Jewish Italian actor, who was accused many times for being a radical lefty, or post-Zionistic. He gave me some very convincing phrases out of our sources to prove, we are obliged to remain in the “Galut” in order to call ourselves Jews, as the Jewish people have no materialistic land, and they are bond in spiritual sense. Once you establish artificial tools to claim this spirituality out of its citizens, the structure formed absurdly negates all its essence.
Maybe I wanted to come out with these answers. Maybe answers I got from Israeli students I met here, who came to study I heard, but they didn’t satisfy me.
Does it mean I’m against Israel? Israel is my creator, and my only homeland forever.
Nevertheless, I’m proud to have grown a sense of confusion about its concept.
January 6, 2012 | 11:09 am
Posted by Klaudia Klimek
If you had in your family a person who’s name was:
and lived before or during the WWII in Krakow or near this city and you have any document of buildings or flats ownership write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 24, 2011 | 6:15 am
Posted by Klaudia Klimek