Today participants had flexibility to experience the city of Krakow or relax.
04.05.2019 - 04.05.2019
The morning allowed for two different options: 1) attend Shabbat morning services Isaak Shul a 400+ year-old synagogue or 2) partake in a spiritual and philosophical discussion about God’s role in the Holocaust.
Those who went to the synagogue got to experience a traditional service. Many students were inspired by the grandeur of the building and the services. Highlights of the experience were the physical beauty as well as the Torah service led by a talented IDF choir. Eden Zoghi who took advantage of the experience and said, “the writings and the paintings on the wall were gorgeous and showed their age. It’s amazing that the synagogue survived through the Holocaust.”
Participants who chose to discuss the role of God in the Holocaust were challenged to think deeply and share their ideas with their peers. Questions like does God exist, if so, what was his role in the Holocaust, and if he had specific intentions during the Holocaust, why were some saved while others not were asked. Candice Emrani enjoyed this challenging experience and said, “I enjoyed hearing from the Holocaust survivors who have thought about this topic for a long time. They have credibility and their perspective has a lot of weight. Their answers made room for more discussion and more thinking.” Those who attended left with more questions than answers.
Once we finished with our adventures, we all got to rest and relax in the hotel. Then, we had an optional walking tour of Krakow where participants saw major sites in the city. Jasmine Beroukhim had a special experience on the tour. She noted, “walking around a once thriving Jewish city on Shabbat after the horrors of the Holocaust was an incredible, meaningful and uplifting feeling.” Jasmine had a conversation reflecting on the experience with Carmel Madadshahi. Carmel said, “The diversity in architecture between pre-war and post-war really tells a story.” She said that she learned so much about the history of Krakow.
Finally, we closed our day with an energy-filled Havdallah service. Happie Hoffman played the guitar for us while both the adult and teen BJE March of the Living delegations danced and celebrated. We not only celebrated the new week but also our courageous and wonderful survivors. Participants took each of our survivors and lifted them above our heads so they could crowd surf. Emma Nulman said “The energy in the room was exactly what I needed to end such a heavy week. Watching the survivors crowd surf was a once in a lifetime experience.”
We walked back to the hotel and everyone was ready for sleep after all the dancing and sing they just experienced.