Warsaw Jewish Community
The Jewish Community in Warsaw has an organized community of approximately 700 members, which is growing. The community is lead by the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich. The organized Jewish Community supports social, cultural, and religious life for the Jewish people living in the area. There is a broad range of ages and levels of affiliation in the Warsaw Jewish community.
In addition to the Jews living in Warsaw, there are Righteous Among the Nations, people who have saved Jewish people from the Holocaust. There are approximately 40 living Righteous in Warsaw and they are affiliated with the organized Jewish community. Rabbi Schudrich has made a point of continuing to find ways to support and interact with this special group of people.
Yad Ezra established a relationship with Rabbi Schudrich and we were fortunate to host him on a visit to Yad Ezra in Michigan in 2018.
Rabbi Schudrich was inspired by the concept and reality of Yad Ezra in Michigan and he decided to embark on creating something similar in Warsaw. Rabbi Schudrich and Yad Ezra partnered to start the Kosher Food Pantry of Warsaw.
Yad Ezra set a goal of raising $100,000 and provided a playbook of what is needed to establish a kosher food pantry.
VIDEO OF ZOOM MEETING WITH RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS, ANNA BANDO
COVID -19 and Year One
Now in its first year of operations, the food pantry in Warsaw had not anticipated the worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, the pantry has delivered food to the approximately 40 Jewish community members in need and to the approximately 40 Righteous Among the Nations.
Each of these two groups has benefitted from the food pantry donations. Food is delivered by volunteers; during the pandemic volunteers drove in taxis, masked and gloved, to deliver food to the food insecure clients of the pantry.
The gratitude from the community was overwhelming. It was so powerful to hear about how much the food meant to those who are food insecure in the Jewish community and how impactful the food deliveries were to the Righteous Among the Nations. For the Righteous, this food delivery represents a meaningful ongoing connection with the Jewish community and their appreciation is boundless.