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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Heritage Trip to Poland 2014/5774: Day 1

Students deliver Talitot and Matzot to the chief Rabbi of Poland to give to the needy before Pesach

Yesterday, 36 Yeshivah of Flatbush seniors, 17 parents and grandparents and four faculty members: Rabbi Prag, Rabbi Hertzberg, Mr. Engel, and Ms. Bloom along with historian, Rabbi Tzvi Shiloni (HS ’89) arrived in Poland for our annual senior Heritage Seminar. We boarded the buses, and began our adventure to learn more about our Jewish heritage that is stored within the historic and tragic sites of Poland. Our first stop was the Zydowski Cemetery, which was the first Jewish cemetery in Warsaw. We visited the graves of some of the great men and woman buried in the cemetery and learned about their stories. We concluded by honoring the dead who where buried in a mass grave with readings, kaddish, and singing Acheinu. We then prayed Mincha by the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto, which is all that remains of it.
After this, we went to the Umshlagplatz- the deportation site- and walked the streets where the Warsaw Ghetto uprising occurred and listened to a heartrending song at Mila 18, the location of the last stand of the uprising. Finally, we went to Warsaw’s only synagogue to deliver the Talitot and Matzot that we brought from home to give out to the needy before Pesach. We were uplifted by the words of the chief rabbi of Poland who spoke about the gradually increasing Jewish community. We look forward to meaningful days to come.  ~Sammy Tbelie