Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland
The union was registered in 1993 as a successor to the Religious Jewish Confessional Union, founded in 1946. Its legal status is regulated by the state's relationship to the Jewish religious communities in Poland, passed in 1997, and on internal law.
It is the legal successor to Poland's prewar Communities. It represents Polish Jews in the restitution of prewar property belonging to the Jewish Communities and other religious legal entities. The aim of the union's activities is to organize religious and cultural life for the members of the Communities' members in Poland.
In particular, the union organizes public worship and the cultivation of religious life, founds and maintains Jewish Communities, maintains synagogues and houses of prayer, ritual eating establishments, cemeteries and ritual baths. It also arranges for ritual slaughter and oversees the preparation and distribution of kosher food. The union also maintains religious institutions, such as the chevra kaddisha ("the holy society", i.e., the burial society). The union conducts broad social welfare services and publishes magazines and books. The union is a partner for a variety of institutions, including state-run ones, in protecting Jewish heritage in Poland and in the promotion of historical monuments that are also part of Poland's national heritage. The Union runs Jewish schools, organizes classes, seminars, courses, conferences and training sessions.
Eight Jewish Communities make up the Union's membership, from the following cities: Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Lodz, Szczecin, Katowice, Bielsko-Biala and Legnica. The Union or Communities have branch offices in smaller Jewish communities. The Union is in part self-financing, but receives additional funds from Joint (JDC); specific projects are also supported by the Ministry of Culture and Art and by other sponsors.
The Union of Communities and Jewish Communities represent adult Jews, and people of Jewish nationality or heritage who are not members of other religions, and are Polish citizens, resident in Poland. Piotr Kadlcik is the Union's chairman.
The Union has representatives in the following organizations: European Jewish Congress, European Council of Jewish Communities, Foundation for the Protection of Jewish Heritage in Poland, American Jewish Committee (AJC), Ogolnopolskie Porozumienie Organizacji Rewindykacyjnych w Polsce (national organization for entities dealing with restitution issues in Poland) and the World Federation of Polish Jews.
The Union is the main institutional Jewish partner in Poland for many institutions, organizations, associations, churches and religious unions.
Zwiazek Gmin Wyznaniowych Zydowskich w RP
ul. Twarda 6
Tel: (+48 22) 620 06 76
Tel: (+48 22) 620 43 24
Fax: (+48 22) 620 10 37
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