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Pilgrimage: Poland

Pilgrimage: Poland explored the roots of Judaism in Poland and how Jews were able to thrive. We learned how the Catholic nature of the country shaped the Jewish experience and how the Jews helped shape Poland. Then, we saw the lead-up to and effects of the Holocaust for Poland and the Jewish community. Implicit in the exploration were the questions of responsibility, culpability, and victimhood. Finally, we saw how the communities dealt with and still handles the ramifications of the Holocaust.

The experience in Poland included stops in the cities of Krakow, Lublin, and Warsaw. Among many exciitng worshops, lectures, and tours, we visited museums, universities, churches, castles, and historical sites within each city. We visited Auschwitz, Birkenau, Plazow, and Majdanek Concentration/Death Camps to view the sites of unspeakable atrocities and how these spaces have been converted to memorials. We shared in Catholic Mass and Shabbat Worship with local communities and met with organizations trying to grapple with these difficult questions and trying to facilitate the painful work of reconciliation.

  • The 2013 Pilgrimage to Poland was led by Andrew Goodman, campus rabbi and director of Jewish life and Terry Dolson, manager of community-based learning in the Bonner center for civic engagement.
  • The 2014 Pilgrimage to Poland was led by Andrew Goodman, campus rabbi and director of Jewish life and Craig Kocher, university chaplain.
  • The 2015 Pilgrimage to Poland was led by Andrew Goodman, campus rabbi and director of Jewish life; Molly Field, community engagement program manager; and Dr. Juliette Landphair, dean of westhampton college.
  • The 2016 Pilgrimage to Poland was led by Andrew Goodman, campus rabbi and director of Jewish life and Kim Dean, director of Richmond families initiative and UR downtown in the Bonner center for civic engagement.

Please read the Pilgrimage: Poland travel blog produced by Kim Catley (University Communications).

Student Reflections
By Perry Lowder ’14, Melissa Diamond, ’15, and Jake Raboy, ’16

2015 Pilgrimage: Poland

The 2015 Pilgrimage: Poland team produced a series of videos to share their experiences, reflections, and lingering questions with a hope of inspiring others to do the same. With a focus on academic growth, emotional reflections, and spiritual development, these videos give insight into the importantance of this experience to the team.

Javier Cifuentes-Garzaro, ’17
Andrew Geha, ’18
Daniel Heifetz, ’17
Sharon Lim, ’16
Ivana Marshall, ’17
Cara Saval, ’18
Jacob Shapiro, ’16
Maddie Wittich, ’17
Rabbi Andrew Goodman, Chaplaincy
Molly Field, Chaplaincy
Dean Juliette Landphair, Westhampton College