by Samuel D. Gruber
I've been writing about presidents and synagogues, so it is appropriate that this note just came in from the JTA about Polish president Lech Kaczynski visiting the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw. I'm actually surprised that he is the first Polish president to do so. Meanwhile, the synagogue is getting a facelift - stone, brick, plaster on the exterior are being entirely restored. I've gotten conflicting accounts about who is paying for this - whether it is the Jewish Community of Warsaw or the City of Warsaw. Most likely, it is a combination; the project being by the Community with a grant from the City since the synagogue is a designated and protected historic site.
Write in if you have more information.
Polish president makes historic synagogue visit
December 21, 2008
PRAGUE (JTA) -- A president of Poland visited a synagogue for the first time since World War II, Polish Radio reported.
President Lech Kaczynski and his wife visited the Nozyk synagogue in Warsaw on Sunday. The president, the first sitting Polish president to visit a synagogue in more than 60 years, lit the first candle for Chanukah in a silver menorah.
During the service, the congregation recited a prayer for the 90th anniversary of Poland's independence. The prayer was written by the rabbi of Krakow, Boaz Pash, according to Polish Radio. He was joined in its recitation by the chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich.