International Festival of Jewish Music, with a special Chanukah message from Jonathan Bernis in Warsaw, Poland
Once the home of a vibrant and thriving Jewish community, the country’s 1,000-year Jewish history was all but erased by the evils of Hitler and his Nazi regime. Millions died, and among the few who survived, many hid their Jewish identity in an effort to escape past trauma and avoid future persecution. For decades, Jewish life was but a remnant of a rich past, an echo in the empty spaces left by the Holocaust.
Today, Poland is experiencing a revival of Jewish life and culture. The country is in the process of reclaiming all aspects of its Jewish heritage. With the rise in popularity of DNA tests, Polish Christians in both the Catholic and Protestant churches are discovering that they have a Jewish parent or grandparent. And throughout Poland’s major cities, there is a growing fascination with all things Jewish ‒ food, music, history and art. People are celebrating Jewish culture as an integral part of Polish cultural identity.
This year, as Chanukah and Christmas converge, our team will put on a world class holiday show in Poland that celebrates the shared history of the Jewish people and Poland. This event will also deliver a powerful message about God’s plan for the people of Israel.