Chabad Young Professionals International is offering a unique journey for young Jewish professionals to explore Jewish life in Poland before the Holocaust.
For centuries, Jewish life flourished in hundreds of Torah hubs throughout Poland. The vibrant and colorful communities that existed before the Holocaust left a lasting impact on Jewish history. Now, Chabad Young Professionals International (CYP) is offering a unique opportunity for young Jewish professionals to journey to Poland and discover their place in this storied history. From visiting holy sites to reliving the glorious world of the shtetl, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the expansive Jewish story and their place in it.
“Discovering our past is essential to understanding our present and our future,” said Rabbi Beryl Frankel, Director of Chabad Young Professionals International. “The Holocaust was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, but it also serves as a reminder of the resilience and determination of the Jewish people. By visiting the sites of this dark chapter in history, we can be inspired to bring Yiddishkeit into our own homes and communities today.”
“CYP Journeys: Poland” is the first-ever trip of its kind organized by CYP, and it is already garnering significant interest. Groups from CYP chapters in cities such as Upper East Side, Raleigh, Dallas, and Montreal are already set to be joining the trip, accompanied by their Shluchim and Shluchos. The journey is open to all young Jewish professionals, and it offers the opportunity for them to connect with peers in similar stages of life.
The trip will include visits to sacred locations in Poland, including the remnants of the shtetls, synagogues, and Jewish centers that were destroyed during the Holocaust. Participants will also visit Auschwitz, where they will be able to pay their respects to the victims of the Holocaust and learn about the atrocities that occurred there.
CYP Journeys: Poland is building off the tremendous success of CYP Encounters around the world. The previous encounters were focused on immersive Jewish experiences in exotic locations such as Guatemala and Panama. This trip, however, is about empowering young Jewish professionals to gain an intimate understanding of Jewish history and giving them context in which to frame their current role as young Jewish leaders in their communities.
As Rabbi Hershy Weinstein, Assistant Director of Chabad Young Professionals International, explains, “In addition to the uplifting and immersive Jewish experiences that have become a trademark of the CYP Encounters. We want the young professionals to walk away from this trip with a deeper understanding of their Jewish identity.”
As part of the trip, the young professionals will have the opportunity to visit the town of Otwock, the 1930s home of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshiva, and from where Friediker Rebbe established over two dozen schools in Europe and the Former Soviet Union. The visit will provide participants with an understanding of Chabad-Lubavitch’s history, philosophy and how it continues to shape Jewish life today. It will also offer insight into how they can become leaders and ambassadors of Jewish life in their communities back home.
“Tomchei Temimim was founded with the noble goal of building an army dedicated to spreading light throughout the world,” states Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. “We hope the journey to Poland allows the young Jewish professionals to uncover their role in that mission and return home with a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration to bring that light to their own communities.”
The trip is set to take place on presidents day weekend: Wed Feb 15, until Mon Feb 20th, 2023, 24 – 29 Shevat.