Poland to Remember First Shul Burned After 1939 Nazi Invasion
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Poland to Remember First Shul Burned After 1939 Nazi Invasion

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The first synagogue in Poland burned by the Nazis after they invaded that country in September 1939 will be remembered there next Tuesday.

A plaque will be placed on that day at the former site of the main synagogue of Katowice. The idea came from a group of Israelis originally from Katowice who visited the city.

Visitors are expected from all over the world, and the city’s government heads will attend the ceremony as well.

There are about 100 Jewish families now living in Katowice, according to Rabbi Chaskell Besser, who is in charge of Polish Jewish affairs for the Ronald Lauder Foundation here. Besser, who visits Poland monthly, said about 80 people come to a Jewish club there every day.

Katowice was once a major Jewish city, the place where Agudath Israel was founded.

There is a shtiebel in Katowice that was built after the war, said Besser. It exists in an apartment that has a moveable roof in one room to provide for a sukkah.

But there is no longer a rabbi in Katowice. The newly appointed rabbi of Warsaw, Menachem Joskowitz, will attend the ceremony and also perform a bar mitzvah there that is to take place later this summer.

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