I am writing this message well in advance of when you will receive it, as I prepare to travel on a rabbinic study mission to Poland and other sites in eastern Europe. I am grateful for this opportunity to immerse with a group of colleagues and a scholar in these particular places. Especially as we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust this spring, I am eager to learn more of the history and also to engage in the current Jewish communities in the three countries I will visit.
I think it is important for us to understand and reflect on the events of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. But, it is equally important, and I think significant, to see what is happening today. During my trip, I will be visiting synagogues, JCCs, and other active communities. I anticipate asking the same questions we have asked here, obviously recognizing the different context: how do we remember and honor our past while creating a vibrant and relevant Jewish community for the future?
I will do my best to send some reflections and pictures during the trip (check Facebook), and as soon as I determine a date, I will also announce when I will be speaking about my trip.