Catholic friars to open Hebrew academy in Poland
(AFP) July 21, 2009
WARSAW — Roman Catholic Franciscan friars are to open Poland's first privately-run Hebrew academy in October with the approval of the country's chief rabbi and a Polish cardinal, its rector said Tuesday.
"We've started recruiting and there's a lot of interest. We're thinking of accepting 45 students for a start," academy rector Father Maksymin Tandek told AFP.
"During my studies in Israel, I discovered its rich and beautiful history. Jews lived in Poland for a thousand years. My dream is to preserve the wealth and beauty of their society here," he said.
The three-year-long programme at the academy located in Torun, north-east Poland, will focus on Hebrew literature, linguistics, Israeli history, Poland's Jews, and modern, rabbinical and biblical Hebrew as well as Syrian and Aramaic.
"Polish archives and libraries contain a large number of documents with an an enormous wealth of Jewish thought, but now no one is examining them. We need specialists to catalogue them and make them public," Tandek said.
European Union funds will cover half of the operation costs of the academy, open to high school graduates. Students will have to pay 2,000 zloty (470 euros, 670 dollars) in tuition fees per semester, Tandek said.
The project has been endorsed by Poland's chief rabbi Michael Schudrich and Roman Catholic Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the former private secretary of the late Polish-born pope John Paul II.
The academy is to be based in Torun, a university town of 200,000 residents, also home to Radio Maryja, a Catholic fundamentalist broadcaster run by Father Tadeusz Rydzyk criticised for nationalist and anti-Semitic programming ...
Related to this story is the rabbis' golem who calls herself 'Madonna' and her handlers scheduling a performance in the same area of Poland on the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother:
Poland Catholics oppose Madonna's concert
For some background on the history of antipathy between Catholics and the rabbis in Poland see Judaism Discovered pp 110-111 and Benedict XIV's encyclical A Quo Primum.
And it is worth recalling this moment in 'Jewish'-Catholic relations:
Pope John Paul II disciplined by his elder brother in the faith, Poland Chief Rabbi Menachem Joskowicz June 11, 1999. (AP File Photo / June 11, 1999)
In the past, traditionalists, seemingly unable to face the reality of the Judeo-Catholic relations racket, have dismissed this image as being photoshopped. I assure readers that it is authentic and the details of the incident it captures are documented here:
The Crosses of Auschwitz, Geneviève Zubrzycki