• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland
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  • 13 January 2017

    "I am extremely pleased that Jewish culture in Poland is reviving and that so many Poles support this", President Andrzej Duda said on Friday at a New Year's meeting with representatives of the Jewish community.

    The meeting was attended by First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, Israeli Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland Chairman Artur Hofman and Jewish Community of Warsaw Chairman Leslaw Piszewski.
    President Andrzej Duda said that it was important to him that the meeting was taking place during both the Jewish and Roman Catholic holiday seasons, also mentioning that National Judaism Day would be celebrated on January 17 in Kielce (southern Poland).
    "This is a day - established in 1997 - of inter-religious dialogue between the Christian, Catholic religion and Judaism", Duda pointed out.
    Jewish culture has been returning to Poland in recent decades despite the historic tragedy of the Holocaust when culture was destroyed in Poland, the president also said.
    Mentioning last year's passing of former Israeli PM and President Shimon Peres, President Duda remarked that Peres had been born in pre-WWII Poland.
    Underlining the Jewish community's contribution to Poland's struggle for independence, the Polish president added that for over a thousand years the Jewish and Polish nations had coexisted in Poland, and Jews had contributed greatly to the development of the country's culture and science.
    "I am extremely pleased ... that Jewish culture in Poland is reviving (and) that so many Poles support this", President Duda also said, in this context mentioning festivals like the Lodz Four Cultures Festival, the Jewish Festival in Krakow and the Singer's Warsaw event.
    President Duda begins a visit to Israel on Monday. Ambassador Azari remarked that thanks to this, 2017 was starting very well for mutual relations.
    Rabbi Schudrich, who said a prayer during the meeting, said that there were many important things worth praying for, but the most important prayer was for peace in Poland and in Israel. (PAP) 

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