Warsaw Synagogue Installs First Rabbi in Three Decades

Warsaw’s sole functioning synagogue installed a new rabbi Tuesday in what is believed to be the first ceremony of its kind in some 35 years.

Menachem Joskovicz will officiate at the Nozyk Synagogue, according to Rabbi Chaskel Besser, who is chairman of activities in Poland for the Lauder Foundation.

Joskowicz, who is about 60 years old, is from Jerusalem, but was originally from Lodz, Poland.

The synagogue, located at No. 4 Ulica Twarda, was renovated about two years ago by the Polish government, said Besser. Since then, it has been seeing a renaissance with large attendances at monthly concerts of recorded hazzanut — the songs of the famed cantors.

Besser, who regularly visits Poland, says that as many as 300 people now attend Shabbat services in the synagogue, and that at least 700 people attend the concerts. The synagogue sits 1,000 persons, he said.

Besser said there have been times when the synagogue has hosted standing-room-only crowds for the concerts, which are organized by the Lauder Foundation, together with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

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