Poland’s Chief Rabbi has warned of overreaction to the country’s controversial legal moves to outlaw blaming Poland for any crimes during the Holocaust.

And, speaking to a global leadership summit held at the weekend in Warsaw by Limmud FSU — Russian-speaking Jews from the former Soviet Union — Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said: “Some of the Jewish responses to the Polish law were irresponsible. To say that all the Poles are anti-Semites is not true, it’s hurtful.”

But Limmud FSU chair, Matthew Bronfman, demurred, telling conference participants that the Polish law was very significant.

He said: “My greatest fear about the law is that it’s a part of something larger, and it’s not just an isolated moment. I truly fear the wave of nationalism around Europe as a whole.”

Bronfman and Schudrich took part in a special session to discuss the new law, passed in February, together with Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, and the American Jewish Committee’s central Europe director, Agnieszka Markiewicz.

Participants from the USA, EU, Russia, Moldova, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Belarus and Israel took part in the five-day event, sponsored by the UJA  Federation of New York and the LA Pincus Fund.

Chaim Chesler, co-founder of Limmud FSU, said: “The goal of the summit was to enable activists and volunteers to meet colleagues and to share knowledge and experience in an atmosphere of joint learning
and study.”

Co-founder Sandy Cahn said the summit was taking place “with the aim of reinforcing identity, cultural, intellectual and spiritual engagement among the organisation’s key personnel”.

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