As the long Thanksgiving weekend fades into a distant memory for most holiday travelers, the 60 exceptionally fortunate people who returned from the Project Mesorah 2015 winter mission to Poland will keep their ecstatic memories close to their hearts for a lifetime.
Hailing from across the United States, Canada and England, the Project Mesorah trip participants found this unique sojourn throughout the length and breadth of Poland to be “inspiring beyond words.” Over the years, the mission to Poland has evolved into a trademark event of the iconic Project Mesorah organization. As such, each time a new trip is announced, throngs of eager travelers brim with anticipation for details and registration information.
For those who have previously visited Poland, the Project Mesorah trip has been called, “a colossal cut above the rest” and “a-once-in-a-lifetime experience.” One traveler thoughtfully observed, “I have never really experienced Poland until I decided to sign up for the Project Mesorah mission. It was a whirlwind of palpable excitement, combined with a deep and profound sense of feeling our heritage and history come alive.”
Led by the internationally renowned maggid, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the Project Mesorah participants were treated to his legendary erudition as they visited such places as Warsaw, Ger, Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, the Majdanek concentration camp, Schindler’s factory and the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau. Adding to the aura of the mission, participants also enjoyed a very special Shabbos in Krakow.
For the Project Mesorah travelers, the most moving moments came when they visited the kevarim of such Torah luminaries as the Rebbe, Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, Rabbi Chaim Brisker, The Netziv, Bais Yaakov founder Sarah Schenirer, the Rema, the Chiddushei Harim, the Sfas Emes, the Chemdas Shlomo, the Chozeh of Lublin, the Tosfos Yom Tov, the Bach, and the Megaleh Amukos.
“I felt that visiting and davening at the kevarim of our heilige antecedents was like taking a giant step back in time to a world steeped in Torah; a time when genuine Yiddishkeit was flourishing. These visits made everything I had ever heard about the mighty European yeshivos and shtetlach seem so real,” said another participant.
A first-time traveler on the Project Mesorah mission said with exuberance reverberating in his voice: “There is a feeling of happiness, a joy that we are able to daven, learn, sing and dance in these holy places where our brothers and sisters used to.” He noted that “there is also a feeling of gratitude to the Ribono shel Olam for allowing us to be able to live as Jews all over the world and return to Poland. Some of us returned to say Kaddish for loved ones while others were joining the mission to connect to our heritage, but everyone was there for a common goal of connecting to our past in order to build a stronger and brighter future. We davened and sang our hearts out to Hakadosh Baruch Hu and thanked Him for the brachos He has given us.”
“The achdus with people of all different backgrounds, k’ish echad b’lev echad—all with the same goal in mind, had us walking away from this trip totally changed,” said Sruly and Malky Adler, participants of the trip. “We came to Poland as individuals and couples. We left Poland as one unit, as one family, simply brothers and sisters,” said Yaakov Serle, publisher of the Queens Jewish Link. Another trip participant from Monsey keenly observed, “We understand that no matter what transpires, we need to love and care about every Jew, regardless of level of affiliation or denomination. We felt proud that we were part of Project Mesorah, helping the future of klal Yisrael remain bright. Next trip, I am bringing many of my friends as well. Thank you, Project Mesorah.”
For those who have not as yet joined Project Mesorah on their missions to Poland and other parts of Europe and Eretz Yisrael, upcoming announcements of future trips are soon to be released. In order not to miss out on special early sign-up discounts and other exciting offers, call Project Mesorah right away at (845)642-3819, visit its website at: www.projectmesorah.org or send an e-mail to [email protected]. Join the thousands of others who have marveled at the sights and sounds of Europe that only a Project Mesorah mission can bring!!
By Fern Sidman