22nd Judaism Day in Poland

Catholic Church in Poland celebrates 22nd Judaism Day. The main events will take place in Łódź, Central Poland, where a thriving Jewish community existed before the World War II.

A special service celebrated by Łódź metropolitan bishop Grzegorz Ryś and Łódź rabbi Dawid Szychowski will mark the 22nd Judaism Day on January 17. The service will be followed by a conference in the city's Marek Edelman Dialogue Centre.

The passage from the 8th century BC Hebrew prophet Hosea: "I will not come to destroy" is this year’s motto for the celebrations.

"We must remember about our history in order to prevent the bad parts of it from repeating. We must meet before God and pray together for unity and peace in the world,” said bishop Grzegorz Ryś.

That Jewish minority started to settle in Łódź in between 18th and 19th century, when the city became a significant industrial centre. 100 years later there was over 200,000 Jews living in the city. It was about 35 percent of all of its residents.

It all ended during the WWII, when nazi Germans created a ghetto here. Nearly 50,000 people died in it and another 80,000 were moved to concentration camps. Today it is estimated that some 20,000 Jews live in Poland in total.

The Judaism Day in Poland was established in 1997 by the Catholic Church hierarchy. Its goal is to improve the dialog between Christian and Jewish communities and reflect upon the ties that connect both religions.