Imams visit Poland to learn about Jews

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Imams from several Muslim countries and the United States visited Poland to learn more about European Jewry.

Thirteen imams from Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries, and five imams from the U.S., visited the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw on Monday.
Many of the imams are teachers in Islamic universities. They came to Poland on a trip organized by the U.S. State Department to learn more about the history of the Jewish people, including Jewish life before the Holocaust in Europe. Representatives of the U.S. State Department and representatives of American Jewish organizations accompanied the group.


The imams also were scheduled to visit the museum at the former Auschwitz concentration camp, and places connected to the Warsaw and Krakow ghettos.

“Auschwitz is world’s symbol in talking about man, so beyond the boundaries of cultural and religious divisions. Rejecting a message from Auschwitz would be tantamount to rejection of the knowledge of man. In this sense, everyone should understand what the experience of Auschwitz speaks of to his own culture, his own traditions, his own perception of the world,” director of Auschwitz museum Piotr Cywinski told JTA.

The group also planned to meet with Polish Righteous Among the Nations, as well as Catholic, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders.

The imams also will eat a kosher dinner with Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich.

The visit will end on Friday.