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NEWS - News of the Lodges

(written by Renée Samanovy, translated by Ernest Simon)

bbenewnov4Lodge celebrated the fifth anniversary of its re-establishment, a re-establishment after the Holocaust. We need to remember that towards the end of the 1930's there were ten lodges in Poland with more than a thousand members.

We were warmly welcomed by the Jewish community in Cracow at an Erev Shabbat Kiddush and dinner and an evening full of song. On the following day we visited the Jewish quarter and in the evening were royally entertained by a superb Klezmer concert.
The ceremony on Sunday, 14th October, was most moving. Polin Lodge has about 45 members and they meet once a month. The guests included:
- Ralph Hofmann, President of B'nai B'rith Europe, accompanied by his wife
- Simone Hofmann
- Erika van Gelder, Senior Vice-President of B'nai B'rith Europe
- Witold Zyss, accompanied by his wife Isabelle
- Michel Zaki, with his wife Tania
- Nathaniel, a member of Daniel Pearl Lodge.
In my talk, I recalled that during the 1930's there were 10 lodges in Poland with over 1000 members, that B'nai B'rith was outlawed in Poland in 1938 by a special decree of the Polish President, Ygnacy Mascicki, that Cracow contained the largest Jewish community of Poland and the oldest of Europe. I reminded the audience of the Nazi reign of terror and that it was in Cracow that all the anti-Jewish legislation was formulated. I concluded by bringing the greetings of Serge Dahan, President of B'nai B'rith France, whom I had the honour of representing.
A superb buffet concluded the evening.
I thank the President of Polin Lodge as well as all the Sisters and Brothers for their wonderfully warm welcome.