Central Europe Discovery 2: Update #3

Shalom from Krakow, Poland!

It has been quite an eventful few days here in Poland. After arriving in our hotel in Krakow, we brought in Shabbat by lighting the candles and attending an Orthodox Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Isaac Synagogue. We proceeded to walk through the historic Jewish Quarter of Krakow before having our first Shabbat dinner together. After a long and festive meal, we headed back to the hotel for an oneg of snacks and games that brought us closer together.

On Saturday, we slept in, enjoyed breakfast, and visitied some of the historic synagogues in the Jewish quarter. While at the Ramah Synagogue, our tour guide Gadi taught us about the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Judaism. We powered through the rain and made it to Krakow’s Market Square for some souveneir shopping and local Polish cuisine, music, and gelato.

After a dinner at a kosher restaurant, we came back to the hotel for Havdallah and prepped for our visit to Auchwitz and Birkenau. Our hotel has a lounge with a bowling alley, foosball table, and pool table that we rented out for the night.

It was a tough day as we beared witness at Auchwitz and Birkenau. We saw the barracks, latrines, and gas chambers used to kill over 1.5 million Jewish people.  We also explored the grounds of Birkenau. Many of us were surprised by the scale of the place. It also felt strange being there on a sunny and warm day.

After spending some time in Auchwitz at the synagogue, we headed back to Krakow for dinner. We ended the night reflecting and processing our day in small groups before packing for our second to last day together in Central Europe.

Now, on to Warsaw…

Chelsea and Brad

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