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“The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.”

RIGA

Riga is beautiful, of course full of a rich history, with absolute stunning buildings and architecture. Especially if you catch it during a somewhat sunny week – okay a little chilly, but it is still the Baltics. For me Riga was full of more conversations and getting to the know people behind the programs. In terms of Jewish background, there is one synagogue still standing and the reason it survived the war was because it’s built so close to other buildings, a priest from a neighboring church convinced the Nazi’s that if they burned it (as they had all the other synagogues in town), it would catch fire to many more buildings. Legend has it that the priest saved the sefer Torah (the handwri

Warsaw

Taking one of the nicest trains I’ve been on for the fairly short journey from Krakow to Warsaw was pleasant. Leaving Krakow I was having some pretty strong feelings about Poland and intrigued by what my experience in Warsaw would be. Upon arrival there is an immediate difference even in just the type of city it is. A biggish city, with tall buildings and many lanes of roads and these pretty smart underground pass through for crossing massive intersections. There are tons of newish buildings and open spaces in Warsaw because the city was destroyed in the Second World War. So while in some of the other places I’ve been, there were ghettos and buildings damaged on different levels, Warsaw wa

KRAKOW

If Krakow was a food it’d be a seven-layer cake because that’s how many layers, at least, of complexity exist here. If a babka has layers, complexity, and a traditional richness then all of Poland maybe a babka. If you want a whole discussion on great Jewish foods, check this website out. If you want to hear about lots of questions and thoughts I had about Krakow, keep reading (or do both, I don’t judge). My head is spinning after only a few days in Krakow. I needed to get it all down on paper – yes I hand wrote most of this first, because, sometimes that’s just how I roll. I also wanted to write up thoughts while in Krakow since I knew that Warsaw would expand and impact my experience, whic

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