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NEWS - News of the Lodges

This is a text by Sergiusz Kowalski, the President of the Polin Lodge in Warsaw.


On Friday and Saturday, the 24-26 of October, Zosia Jankiewicz, Frank Helling-Saphar and Sergiusz Kowalski from our lodge took part in a B'nai B'rith "Visegrad" convention (or one might say a BB "Habsburg" convention – since there were attendees from Austria and Hungary, and thanks to Kraków, Poland would qualify) in Mikulov, Moravia, not far south of Brno.
Our party could not stay for Sunday's activities, since we had to return to Warsaw for the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and our counterparts were kind enough to move the working meeting of the Lodge presidents with Erika van Gelder to Saturday.
On Friday evening there was a ceremonial meeting and supper, fitting with the start of the Sabbath in the restaurant of the hotel where we stayed. Brother Vladimir Železný, owner of the hotel, former Czech MPE, journalist, photographer and the owner of a vineyard near Mikulov was a fine and eloquent host. Frank, our resident vintner, gave his wines overall high grades.
All in all, about 80 people attended the convention coming from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moravia, Hungary, Austria and, of course, Poland. Among them were Jan Lerbletier, President of the Prague Lodge "Renaissance," Alexander Mandelbaum from Vienna, Magda Vadász from Budapest, the leader of the association of Jewish communities in the Czech Republic, Tomas Kraus, and many, many others. It was thrilling to hear all the languages spoken – English, French, German, and also a sort of Czech-Polish hybrid.
The 600 kilometre trip was well worth it – even if only for the day and a half we spent there. And of course, our brothers and sisters await an invitation to Warsaw. We won't flatter ourselves that they want to see us again so soon, but rather Warsaw's remarkable new museum about which they had all heard so much.
Saturday's working meeting was most important and interesting. We were impressed by BB Europe's energetic new head, Erika van Gelder and her candour. We were able to clarify some of the matters concerning our lodge and left the meeting feeling better than before it, more aware and proud that we are a part of an international organisation.

Sergiusz Kowalski, President
B'nai B'rith Polin, Warsaw