Poland’s Reviving Jewish Communities Come (Way, Way) Out

September 14, 2012

Source: JTA


Cnaan Lipshiz writes about Poland’s first Torah Trek, an adult summer camp that marries Jewish learning with hiking. The 14 Torah Trekkers stayed for five days at the remote southern Polish Kalatowki lodge, a mountain resort so isolated that it can be reached only by four-wheel drive. They held daily shofar sessions on the trail - a tradition in Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Rosh Hashanah.


The trek’s Torah portion went beyond the basics, to explore and discuss the relationship between man and nature in Jewish sources, as well as Jewish philosophy and the ideas of Martin Buber. Organizers plan to make an annual event out of the Torah Trek, which was largely subsidized by the Luxemburg-based Matanel Foundation.


With Poland's synagogues and Jewish centers once again providing basic services, local Jewish communities are taking to the outdoors as the next step toward expanding Jewish community life here with more exotic activities.


Other young adult Jewish groups have recently been engaging in outdoor retreating.

The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) held a one-week summer camp on the Baltic coast last month for young families with more than 200 people in attendance. The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation held yet another family retreat with greater emphasis on religion.


Read the entire post on JTA.

Updated: Oct. 10, 2012