Rekindling Polish Jewish Life: A Video Compilation

Rarely seen footage from the rebirth of Polish Jewish life compiled into video in 2003.

Compilation of footage from programs created by Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein during work in rebuilding the Jewish community 1998-2001, as Directors of The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. Yonah, began work in Poland with the Jewish community starting in June 1991. He was sent back to Poland in 1992 by Rabbi Chaskel Besser to be song leader at the summer camp run by Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the new country director of the Foundation. After continuing to travel to Poland for community programming and holidays on behalf of the Foundation, Yonah travelled to Krakow for a year-long Fulbright Fellowship in post-war Polish-Jewish relations. In Krakow, with the help of local young Jews and the Lauder Foundation, he started the Jewish Youth Club in Krakow, and other youth activities in 1993.

Yonah commuted back and forth from Oxford, England in the ensuing years to help with community renewal, and then with his wife Rachel, starting in 1996 from Israel. In 1998 Yonah and Rachel moved to Warsaw to take over community building efforts that had been led by Rabbi Schudrich who was Directing the Lauder Foundation. There they established several key community institutions, and rebuilt or renewed others including: Warsaw Mikvah, Jewish Book Festival, Jewish Culture Festival of Warsaw, Moses Shore Centrer, Lauder Ulpan, Bak Buk, Tourist Information Center and others. They left Poland in September 2011. Many of their students today are leaders of the Jewish community of Poland.

Some places mentioned in the video:

Camp Lauder / Srodborow – summer and winter retreats run for families, teens, students, and child survivors of the Holocaust.

Warsaw – scenes from community programs

Final scene is from Lodz – Jewish youth club and kindergarten