Polish Independence Day celebration at Warsaw synagogue cancelled over security concerns

Katarzyna Markusz

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Board of the Jewish Community of Warsaw cancelled a celebration of Poland’s Independence Day in the city’s historic Nozyk synagogue, reportedly citing security concerns.

The Jewish community learned of the cancellation on the eve of the scheduled celebration.

The ceremony had been scheduled to be held on November 11, Poland’s Independence Day. Among the scheduled speakers were Anna Chipczynska, president of the Board of the Jewish Community of Warsaw; Polish chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, who was to recite a prayer for Poland; and Anna Cialowicz, author of an anthology of pre-World War II articles titled “My Jewish Warsaw.”

Attendees of the ceremony were to have been limited to members of the Jewish community and guests invited by the board.

On Thursday the event was cancelled, over the need to ensure the safety of members of the community in the face of alarming security warnings over the event, the news website Jewish.pl reported.

The prayers for Poland were included in the Nozyk Synagogue’s Friday morning prayers and in the Ec Chaim progressive synagogue’s Saturday morning prayers, according to the website.

Chipczynska did not respond to a JTA query about what kind of security led to the cancelation of the event.

On November 11, 1918, Poland gained its independence and returned to the map of Europe. In honor of the day, the largest Polish cities hold marches, sports events and cultural events. On Friday, marches through the streets of Warsaw were attended by about 80,000 people. Polish Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Mariusz Blaszczak said after the march that Warsaw was secured during the events.