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Polish Jewish Community Discouraged About Future, B’nai B’rith Reports

A B’nai B’rith delegation, headed by David Blumberg, international president, and Herman Edelsberg, director of the B’nai B’rith International Council, arrived here today from Warsaw and reported that the Polish Jewish community was discouraged about its future but that the Polish government wanted to improve relations with world Jewry.

“The leaders of the genuine Jewish community, with whom we met at length, were discouraged about the future of their aging and declining community,” Blumberg told the JTA. “It is discouraging, too, to report that the leadership of the government supported Jewish cultural and social association has no interest in Jewish survival or in the other problems that vitally concern world Jewry.”

But Blumberg stressed that “We opened the door for the first time since the purges of 1968″ and noted that “we are encouraged that many important leaders of the Polish government want to improve relations with the Jews of the world.”

The B’nai B’rith president said that the delegation emphasized to the Polish leaders that “we’re ready to help remove the barriers that separate us and to devote our efforts to the building of bridges of understanding.”

While in Poland, the delegation met with the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Sejm (parliament), Wyncenty Kasko, the director general of the Ministry for Religious Affairs. A. A. Skarzinski, and other high officials. The delegation was also received by the American Ambassador. Richard Davies. It met with the head of the Jewish religious community in Warsaw. Isaac Frenkel, and with the head of the Jewish religious community in Cracow, A. A. Jakobovitz, and with the heads of the Jewish Cultural and Social Association.