Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Making Do With Too Few Jews

Poland boasted a Jewish population of 3.5 million before the Holocaust, but only about 10,000 Jews live there now. Nevertheless, Poland is experiencing a Jewish revival.

"Jewish-style" restaurants are serving up platters of pirogies, klezmer bands are playing plaintive oriental melodies, derelict synagogues are gradually being restored. Every June, a festival of Jewish culture here draws thousands of people to sing Jewish songs and dance Jewish dances. The only thing missing, really, is Jews.

"It's a way to pay homage to the people who lived here, who contributed so much to Polish culture," said Janusz Makuch, founder and director of the annual festival and himself the son of a Roman Catholic family. [Link]

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