04 Jan Project Mesorah Poland Tour:
No words can describe how incredible the Project Mesorah Poland Tour is. It is something you need to experience in order to wrap your mind around it. It is an unbelievable combination of history, prayer, Jewish Identity along with gourmet food and five star accommodations. It is a good thing that the physical needs are well tended to since the days stretch longer than a regular tour, from early in the morning until late at night. It’s an exercise in endurance, but well well worth it.
We joined a summer tour with Rabbi Paysach Krohn as the speaker and Mr. Ari Scharf as the expert in Polish History. Their knowledge and styles complement each other with each of them bringing out another perspective. The success of such a trip is dependent on the leaders and we definitely had the tops.
The tour began in Wasaw. We visited the last remaining synagogue, the old cemetery where many famous Rabbanim and public figures were buried, we also visited the Umschlagplatz Monument, the area where the Warsaw Jews were gathered before sending them to the Labor Camp.
In addition to Warsaw stops were made in the city of Ger to pray at the Kvarim of the Gerrer Rebbes and to visit the courtyard of the Ger Shul.
We saw Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, which remains intact and currently houses a hotel. We visited the main sanctuary, still set up as it was used, with a gallery of pictures and information in a room just off the main sanctuary. Afterwards, we continued on to the ancient cemetery and the kevarim of the Chozeh of Lublin and the Maharshal.
Our first experience visiting a Concentration Camp was at Majdanek near Lublin, the infamous Concentration Camp where they tested ways of making the gas chambers most effective. The day ended with an uplifting visit to the Kever of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk.
Krakow, the second largest city in Poland, was not completely desolated during the War. We spent Friday morning visiting the Synagogue of the Rama and praying at the cemetery right near it. We went on a walking tour Shabbos afternoon to see the rest of the Jewish Quarter and Old Synagogues as well as the Sara Schenirer’s Bais Yaakov Building.
The trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday afternoon was wrenching, but having Rabbi Krohn and Ari Scharf as our guides help put everything in perspective. After an uplifting Shabbos we visited the Umschlagplatz in Krakow, the Schindler Factory and Sara Schenirer’s Kever located in the ruins of the Plaszow Concentration Camp.
Everyone on the trip agreed that it was an experience they’d never forget. The places visited, the lessons learned and the incredible Shabbos in Krakow (and some new friends to boot) left everyone spiritually charged as they went on to continue their everyday life.
Posted: January 26, 2018
Information, prices and hours posted here are current as of the posted or updated date. It is advisable to call ahead or check online to confirm hours and prices.