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Michael Joseph Schudrich (born June 15, 1955) is an American rabbi and the current Chief Rabbi of Poland. He is the oldest of four children of Rabbi David Schudrich and Doris Goldfarb Schudrich.[1]

Michael Schudrich
Rabin Polski.jpg
TitleChief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi of Łodz, Rabbi of Warsaw
Personal
Born (1955-06-15) June 15, 1955 (age 64)
ReligionJudaism
Parents
  • David Schudrich (father)
  • Doris Goldfarb Schudrich (mother)

BiographyEdit

Born in New York City, Schudrich lived in Patchogue, New York, where his father served as a pulpit rabbi.[2] His grandparents emigrated to the United States from Baligród, Poland, before World War II.[3]

Educated in Jewish day schools in the New York City area, Schudrich graduated from Stony Brook University in 1977 with a Religious Studies major and received an MA in History from Columbia University in 1982. He received Conservative smicha (rabbinical ordination) from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and later, an Orthodox smicha through Yeshiva University from Rabbi Moshe Tendler. He served as rabbi of the Jewish Community of Japan from 1983 to 1989.[4]

After leading Jewish groups on numerous trips to Europe, Schudrich began working for the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and resided in Warsaw, Poland, from 1992 to 1998.

He returned to Poland in June 2000 as Rabbi of Warsaw and Łódź, and in December 2004 was appointed Chief Rabbi of Poland.[5] Schudrich has played a central role in the "Jewish Renaissance" in Poland.

Schudrich is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and the Conference of European Rabbis. In Kashrut he cooperates with the Orthodox Union, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and other Kashrut organizations. Schudrich has been a Polish citizen since November 3, 2005, and now holds both American and Polish citizenship.

On May 27, 2006, Schudrich was assaulted with what appeared to be pepper spray in central Warsaw by a 33-year-old man.[6] According to the police, the perpetrator had ties to "Nazi organizations" and a history of football-related hooliganism.[7] Schudrich hit back, and the attack on him brought condemnation from Polish media and politicians.[8]

Rabbi Schudrich had been invited to travel on the aircraft that crashed on 10 April 2010, killing 96 people including the Polish president. He refused as it would have violated the Jewish Sabbath, a decision which saved his life.[9]

In February 2018, Rabbi Schudrich entered into discussion with the Polish parliament with the hope of amending a proposed animal-rights law that would restrict kosher slaughter in Poland.[10]  During the same month he implored with Jewish leaders to refrain from boycotting Poland over the "Holocaust law", which criminalizes any public statements that the Polish nation was complicit in Nazi war crimes.[11]

In November 2018 Schudrich participated in the first Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities Forum in Abu Dhabi.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Rabbi David Schudrich, Federation Official, 61" The New York Times, Dec. 21, 1990
  2. ^ "Balancing Hate, Renaissance in Poland" The Jewish Week, May 6, 2009
  3. ^ "In Poland, a Jewish Renaissance" NPR interview, April 9, 2007
  4. ^ "Hail to the Chief" Archived 2009-12-15 at the Wayback Machine Ben Harris interview, Nov. 7, 2009
  5. ^ Announcement of Participation of Rabbi Michael Schudrich[permanent dead link] May 2009.
  6. ^ https://www.economist.com/node/18237045
  7. ^ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/06/29/world/main1763052.shtml Arrest In Polish CBS News, June 29, 2006
  8. ^ https://www.economist.com/node/18237045
  9. ^ Saved by Keeping Sabbath: Interview with Poland's Chief Rabbi
  10. ^ "Poland Chief Rabbi Pushing to Amend Animal-rights Bill to Protect Kosher Slaughter". Haaretz. 2018-02-12. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  11. ^ Maltz, Judy (2018-02-26). "Poland's Chief Rabbi Implores Jewish Leaders Not to Boycott His Country Over Holocaust Law". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  12. ^ Releases, Business Wire News (2018-11-17). "Abu Dhabi to Host Interfaith Alliance For Safer Communities: Child Dignity in the Digital World Forum on 19 November | Financial Post". Retrieved 2018-12-17.

External linksEdit