This Week in Poland
Prisoners! A Hitler tree! A gay rabbi! Kibbutzniks!
So much Jewish news in Poland lately!
First, a new program requires Polish prison inmates to take part in the rehabilitation of Jewish sites throughout the country. Hopefully this gig will be an improvement on whatever prisoners were forced to do before—otherwise the plan might be creating a new population of future ex-cons with a bone to pick against the Jews.
Meanwhile, in the latest attempt to repurpose something Nazi-related, the mayor of Jaslo, a southeastern Polish town, has decided to cut down a 67-year-old tree originally planted to mark Hitler’s birthday and replace it with a tree commemorating Polish soldiers killed by Soviet forces. It’s unclear whether honoring the dead by killing a tree is an act of vengeance or merely a misguided gesture.
And over in Warsaw, provocative Israeli film artist Yael Bartana has started construction on a mock kibbutz, as an attempt to “revive the Jewish spirit again.” (As opposed to the socialist spirit, which, presumably, is long past rekindling.) And elsewhere in town, a Reform synagogue has hired Poland’s first openly gay rabbi, Aaron Katz. The remarkable Katz has made quite an evolution, from a bearded Orthodox rabbi with a wife and kids in Sweden, to a clean-shaven man hosting dinner parties with his partner, Kevin Gleason, a convert and former reality-TV producer. Mazel tov!
And that’s all from Poland.
Polish Convicts to Renovate Jewish Sites [JPost]
Hitler’s Tree to Get the Axe [Arutz Sheva]
Israeli Artist Builds Mock Kibbutz in Heart of Polish Capital [AP]
Poland Gets 1st Openly Gay Rabbi [Fox News]
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.