My thanks to Emil Majuk for showing me around and for being such an excellent guide!
The Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva Synagogue
Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva Synagogue
|Synagogue in Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva
Synagoga w Jeszywas Chachmej Lublin
The Synagogue in Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva is a synagogue located in Lublin, Poland, in the building of Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, on Lubartowska 85 (originally 57) Street.
The synagogue was completed in 1930 along with the rest of the complex of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva. Apart from religious functions, it was used as a lecture hall for the yeshiva  , having been able to seat over 200 students. During the Second World War, the building was vandalized by the Nazis, and all of the contents were damaged or dispersed.
After the war, the building of the yeshiva was taken over by the Medical University of Lublin. The room of the synagogue was redecorated and adjusted to needs of the University. The colouring of walls and columns was changed, and the windows located on the Eastern wall were bricked up.
In late 2003, the building was returned to the Jewish Community of Warsaw, which decided to redecorate and reconstruct the synagogue. The restoration commenced in May 2005, following the University’s departure from the structure. A rotten ceiling over the prayer room was replaced, and a new parquet floor was laid. Relying in part on pre-War photographs, the original colouring of columns and the windows on the Eastern wall were recreated. Also, the bimah and steps to Ark, which were surrounded by a balustrade, were restored.
However, the Ark could not be recreated at the time. In its place, a wardrobe and 2-metre (7 ft) high chandelier with 16 lights was installed. In the second half of 2007, the kehilla ordered the missing elements of the interior.
Official opening of the synagogue took place on February 11, 2007. As the reconstruction of the interior of the synagogue was funded entirely by the Polish-Jewish Community, it was the first such ceremony in the post-War Poland.
During the ceremony, two replicas of mezuzahs with Polish Eagle were placed- the first one on the front door of Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, and the other one on door of the synagogue. The original mezuzah had been donated during the opening in 1930 by a tzadik from Czortków(now Chortkiv, Ukraine), Israel Friedman. Next, the chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich carried in a Sefer Torah, funded on June 17, 2005 by Americans Harley and Marie Lippman, on the occasion of their daughter Juliet’s Bat Mitzvah. Originally the Torah was located in Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw, but on January 22, 2006 it was carried into the Small Synagogue in Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva, after which it was returned to Warsaw. The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland donated a gold-plated menorah and a plaque about the extermination of the Jews of Lublin.
There was over 600 guests for the ceremony, including representatives of Polish and foreign Jewish community as well people from university, cultural and religious fields: Michael Schudrich, Piotr Kadlčik, chairman of Lublin branch of the Jewish Community of Warsaw Roman Litman, Israel‘s ambassador to Poland David Peleg, metropolitan archbishop of Lublin Józef Życiński, president of Lublin Adam Wasilewski, representatives of local government, rabbi Yehiel Kaufman from Borough Park, Brooklyn, Jehuda Widawski, inhabitant of Lublin and other guests. 
For more info, visit the Lublin KehilaLink
The Hotel Ilan
The Mikvah in the Hotel
The Old Jewish Cemetery
Old Jewish Cemetery, Lublin
Graves at Old Jewish Cemetery, Lublin.
|Coordinates||51°15′08″N 22°34′45″ECoordinates: 51°15′08″N 22°34′45″E|
The Old Jewish Cemetery (Polish: Stary Cmentarz Żydowski w Lublinie), in Lublin, Poland, is located on a hill between Kalinowszczyzna and Sienna Streets. The cemetery overlooks the Old Town and is entirely surrounded by a high, seventeenth-century wall. It is located on the site of a former medieval fortress, and was once surrounded by numerous backwaters.
The cemetery was probably founded in 1541, although some sources give a much earlier date. The first written mention of the cemetery dates from 1555, when a privilege was issued to Polish Jews permitting burial in the area.
Many distinguished representatives of the Lublin Jewish community are buried there. Many of them have monumental and richly decorated matzevot headstones, but there are also matzevot without ornaments, which are evidence of modesty. In 1939 the cemetery probably held up to 3,000 matzevot. After the German occupation of Poland in 1939 and the start of the Holocaust, many of the matzevot were demolished or were used for street paving. The matzevot of several significant figures, however, remain.
In the 1980s, the Association for the Preservation of the Jewish Heritage in Lublin (Towarzystwo Opieki nad Pamiątkami Kultury Żydowskiej) began to put the cemetery in order and to make a detailed inventory. Between 1988 and 1991 several antisemitic acts of vandalism took place, as a result of which 40 further matzevot (Macewy) were destroyed.
Currently, the Old Jewish Cemetery in Lublin provides some of the last surviving physical evidence of the centuries-old presence of Jews in the city.
Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre
|Ośrodek “Brama Grodzka – Teatr NN”|
|Coordinates||51°14′58″N 22°34′11″ECoordinates: 51°14′58″N 22°34′11″E|
|Fields||culture heritage, education|
The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre (Polish: Ośrodek “Brama Grodzka — Teatr NN”) is a cultural institution based in Lublin. It is housed in the Grodzka Gate also known as the Jewish Gate that historically used to be a passage from the Christian to the Jewish part of the city. In its activities the Center focuses on issues of cultural heritage. Polish-Jewish past of Lublin is the corner stone of art and educational programmes carried out by the “Gate”.
History and Theater activities of the Center
NN Theater was established in 1990 in Lublin Drama Group, accommodated at that time in the Grodzka Gate and adjoining buildings. In 1998 the theater became a detached, independent organization and received its current name Ośrodek “Brama Grodzka — Teatr NN”.
In its infancy theater staged the plays based on works of Kafka, Hrabal and other authors. As Tomasz Pietrasiewicz explains, literary adaptation of Herman Melville novel “Moby-Dick” played on the stage in June 1995 became a farewell to the certain period of producer’s theater life. When after a long break he returned to stage direction again, the spotlight shifted to the storytelling.
The Center also organizes festivals, such as “Miasto Poezji” (English: “City of Poetry”) and “Śladami Singera” (English: “Following I. B. Singer’s Traces”).
Expositions in the “Grodzka Gate”
Building of the Center has hosted many expositions, though its structure, characterized by a range of narrow corridors, some dead-end ones, is far from being an idyllic place for a “typical” exhibition. Thus, their creators had to “fit” their exhibit items in the space available.
In 2010 with financial endorsement of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland an exposition “Lublin. Pamięć Miejsca” (English: “Lublin. Memory of the Place”) was launched and has been operating ever since. It included some objects from the previous display “Portrait of the Place” and was enriched by some multimedia materials. One of the halls opens to visitors’ eyes a “Wall of voices” – boxes with installed speaker system. Pressing on one of the buttons you can listen to the stories about old Lublin – its smells, tastes, and sounds.
Numerous pieces of Kaiserpanorama, accompanying visitors through the whole course of exhibition, offer to have a look at pictures of interwar Lublin. In addition, there is a room dedicated to the Holocaust victims with seventy coloured photos of Lublin ghetto, taken by a German soldier Max Kirnberger. In 2012 new photos were added to the gallery. They had been found on the roof of the building on Rynek 4 during its renovation. There, under the leads, wrapped in papers and rags 2,700 photocopies were discovered. The owners of the house handed them over to the “Grodzka Gate” for a period of ten years. Author of the photos is still unknown.
A separate room is devoted to the Righteous Among the Nations from Lublin region (people who had been rescuing Jews during the Holocaust). It is a place, where visitors can read their personal stories and listen to their reminiscences. Another eye-catching item of the exposition are models of the old part of the city in 1930s – one actual and one multimedia one with replicas of 840 buildings, such as town houses, shops, synagogues etc.
Historical and educational activities of “The Grodzka Gate – NN Theater”
Jews who come here ask us: why do you do this? After all, you are not Jews, but Poles, and Jewish town is not your history.
Poles ask us: why do you do this? After all, you are Poles, and Jewish town is not our history. Maybe you are Jewish?
We patiently explain that it is our common, Polish-Jewish history. In order to remember the killed Jews, you don’t have to be a Jew as well.
There must be more such gates in the world we live. Not only Polish-Jewish ones.
Former Synagogue Complex of The Maharshal – Shlomo Luria
Chevra Nosim Synagogue
Thanks to Pawel and Luba Matraszek for their hospitality.
Other views of Lublin
The Train to Warsaw