A Polish-language guide to Chanukah will be distributed to hidden Jews in Poland. Shavei Israel, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to strengthen ties between the State of Israel and descendants of Jews around the world, will distribute the free books this week through its emissaries in Poland. Hidden Jews in Poland lost all contact with Judaism due to the extreme anti-Semitism they encountered after the Holocaust; some even converted. Others concealed their Jewishness from the Communist authorities and now feel free to resume their true identity.
"In recent years, an increasing number of Poles have rediscovered their Jewish ancestry, seeking to reclaim the precious heritage that was so brutally taken from them and their forebears," said Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel. "It is our hope that this book will, in some small way, enable a new generation of Polish Jews to celebrate Chanukah with joy, as well as gain a better understanding of our eternal faith, its principles and beliefs."
Approximately 4,000 Jews are officially registered as living in Poland, but according to various estimates there are tens of thousands of others who have concealed their true identity or are simply unaware of it, according to Shavei Israel.