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Polish-born Rabbi Appointed Poland’s First-rabbi in Years

A Brooklyn rabbi, Aszor Zibes, has been appointed as Poland’s first rabbi in years, and is expected to arrive in Warsaw soon. Polish official sources in Warsaw told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the rabbi will live in Warsaw, which has Poland’s largest Jewish community, but will be free to travel throughout the country and organize religious activities. The new rabbi is Polish-born and served some 14 years ago in Wroclaw (Breslau). He will keep his American nationality.

The official Polish sources told JTA that the government gave the Polish Jewish Religious Union permission to invite a foreign rabbi to serve the community “in order to help improve our relations” with the various Jewish organizations. There has been no resident rabbi in Poland since 1967 when a mass exodus of Polish Jews took place following the Six-Day War.

Meanwhile, a three-man Polish Jewish delegation; led by the director of the Warsaw Yiddish Theater, Szymon Szurmej, left today for Israel to attend the conference of Polish Jews due to open this week. Another member of the delegation is the president of the Polish Jewish Religious Union, Moses Findelsztein.

Poland has been trying for the last few years to improve its relations with world Jewry and especially with the Polish Jews who have emigrated and now live in the West. Poland has also tried to improve its diplomatic relations with Israel short, however, of extending diplomatic recognition. It is not expected to do so as long as the Soviet Union does not.

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