Warsaw: First Lady of Poland Visits the Lauder Morasha School
Poland’s First Lady, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, made a special visit to the Lauder Morasha Jewish school of Poland, and participated in the school’s Erev Shabbat celebration.
On Friday, 26 February 2016 (Adar 17), Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the First Lady of the Republic of Poland, visited the Lauder-Morasha School in Warsaw. The Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich and Mr. Lesław Piszewski, President of the Union of the Jewish Communities in Poland, also attended the the special event.
Children and teachers of the Lauder-Morasha Kindergarten welcomed the First Lady, and sang for her the song David Melech Israel. Next, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda participated in the school’s beautiful Shabbat celebration at the school’s synagogue. During the ceremony, she was welcomed by the Head of the School, Rabbi Mati Pawlak and the school’s anthem was sang for her by the Lauder-Morasha School students and teachers.
The First Lady lit the school’s Shabbat candles, as others sang Shalom Aleichem and Lecha Dodi. Next, Kidush was made over grape juice and two baked Challot were given to the distinguished guests and students.
Students of the Lauder-Morasha Middle school presented the school’s history, a short history of Jewish education in Warsaw prior to WWII, and an overview of the school’s accomplishments. Words on the weekly Parsha Torah reading were delivered by the Head of the School, who also articulated the Lauder-Morasha School’s purpose, mission and significant role in today’s education of Polish Jewry. Rabbi Pawlak emphasized the importance of togetherness, friendship and love for fellow friends.
The First Lady, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda, addressed the school’s students and teachers by highlighting the unique, warm and welcoming atmosphere of the school, and its success at fostering self-confidence and a love of learning. The First Lady pointed out the value of the Lauder-Morasha School as a place where Polish Jews can learn about Judaism, their heritage, celebrate Jewish holidays and cultivate Jewish tradition.
The School received a novel, classic of Polish literature, Quo Vadis written by the Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz and a print illustration of the Presidential Place. The students of the Lauder-Morasha School gave the First Lady a Shabbat-themed collage, freshly baked Challot and a set of two silver plated Shabbat candle sticks. In concluding her visit, Mrs. Agata Kornhauser-Duda pledged that she would remember the school’s Shabbat experience, its students and the Jewish tradition — every time she lights the candles. See pictures below.