Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012...7:02 pm

A Deeper Perspective

While the focus of this trip is on the present and future – we took some time on Sunday evening and Monday morning to learn about and remember the past.  In America it is a law to have holocaust education. In the town of Lublin, there is a concentration camp just a 20 minute drive outside of the town. I was wrong to believe that I was overloaded by holocaust stories and accounts throughout my Jewish education. Jewish teens in Poland live with the holocaust around the corner. Here it seems like the holocaust was more recent than 70 years ago. From what we’ve learned, the Jewish community only started healing after the fall of communism in the 1989. 

On campus we have a thriving and large Jewish community. Learning about the families and individuals that have & are currently researching and discovering their Jewish roots in Poland has had a lot of meaning. 

After visiting the Majdanek Concentration Camp this morning, what I observed is hard to take.  Too hard for words.  Difficult and sad to conceptualize that 150,000 Jewish people were killed on the grounds which I just visited.    

The Jewish community in Poland is alive.  The people are here.  The leaders are here.  You can see and feel their passion. The group has heard multiple times from individual stories that when people found out that they have Jewish roots that these people “felt a spark ignite inside of them”. 

I am planning to bring this experience back to my friends on campus and help them understand that we can actively help the Jewish community of Poland thrive like our communities in America. 

I just couldn’t understand though the reality was right in front of my eyes this morning. The barracks just smelled like wood. There was no Blood anywhere. Even the ashes are barely visible.

TRIP DESCRIPTION: Our group will be volunteering within the Jewish community in Poland for a week over Spring Break. The Jewish community in Poland currently has about 10, 000 individuals, with most of them living in Warsaw. The group will be volunteering in Warsaw for a week working with the kids and the community, learning about the economic situation and immersing ourselves in the culture.

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