Monday, April 02, 2007

The boys are back in town!

This just came in from Chaim... more photos at the bottom...what a wonderful way to kick-off Pesach!

Hello David,

We are back in Israel after our week in Poland. It was an excellent trip, and our visit to Przemysl was definitely a highlight.

On Thursday afternoon, after visiting the site of the Belzec death camp, our group got on the bus and headed to Przemysl. None of us (including our guide) had been there before so we did not know what to expect.

On the way, we called Lukasz Biedka with whom I had made contact through this blog. Lukasz said he would be happy to meet our group and gave the bus driver instructions on where to pick him up.

Lukasz was an excellent guide. He first brought us to the Jewish cemetery and pointed out the spot of the Scheinbach shul along the way.

We then got back on the bus and drove across the river to the old Zasanie Synagogue (now, abandoned). It was late afternoon by that point and our group had not yet davened mincha. Our guide noted that "shuls are meant for prayer" so we stood outside the fence of the shul and I led the group in the afternoon service. The attendants at the gas station next door were certainly intriguied with what they saw...

At that point, we had already been in in Przemysl for an hour and our schedule called for us to leave and head to Krakow, but Lukasz insisited that he show us the old ghetto. So, we jumped back on the bus and drove over the river once more. Lukasz told us the story of the ghetto and showed us around. He then brought us the the memorial of the mass shootings which stands behind the prison. We said kaddish and lit candles.

Although I was the only one from the group who had a family connetion to Przemysl, everyone got a lot out of our visit. Prezmysl is a beautiful town and it was easy for us to imagine what it must have been like with its once thriving Jewish community.

As promised, I attached some photos of our visit to this e-mail.

Thanks again for starting this blog. It proved to be an invaluable resource for our visit.

Chag Kasher v'sameach,
Chaim

P.S.
I did a little more research on Horodek (the birth place of my grandfather). Turns out that it is, in fact, about 80km south or Przemysl. It was within the region of Lisko (now Lesko).

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