Polish Catholics hold annual Day of Judaism

Ben Harris

WARSAW (JTA) — Polish bishops called for the honoring of Jews killed in the Holocaust in their annual Day of Judaism commemoration.

“The history of Polish Jews is an integral part of the heritage of Poland, which was a common home for the representatives of different faiths, religions and nations,” said an appeal read in churches across the country on Jan. 15.

The church’s Day of Judaism commemoration has been held annually since 1997.

The bishops emphasized that Jewish history is a common element of both Polish and Jewish memory and that Christians and Jews are the children of one God.

Bishops urged Catholics to care for old Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and graves of victims of the Holocaust, calling it a “duty of conscience.”

“In Poland, there are 1,200 Jewish cemeteries that are in various conditions. In a few cases there is great cooperation with local communities. Thanks to the appeal of the bishops maybe there will be more such cases,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.