Europe’s largest yeshiva before World War II will reopen this weekend. The Polish Jewish community renovated part of Lublin’s Yeshiva Chachmei, founded in 1930 by Talmudic scholar Meir Shapiro. Last year, the community renovated the first floor of the yeshiva, which now serves as the seat of the tiny Lublin Jewish Community. There are about 120 Jews in Lublin, according to some estimates, though not all are affiliated with the community. Starting Friday, 2,000 guests are expected to mark the weekend celebration of the launch, which will include a synagogue and an exhibition about the history of the city’s Jewish community. The $1 million renovation funded from communal Jewish restitution only includes about 25 percent of the building, which became a German police headquarters during World War II and was turned into a medical academy after the war. A Museum of the Chasidim in Europe also is planned for the building. Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, said there has been some discussion in Jewish circles about turning the building into a seat of Jewish learning again. The weekend celebration will feature several discussions of the building’s future.
Prewar Lublin yeshiva reopens