This week saw the opening of a Hasidic Centre in Radomsko. Within two years the establishment will expand to include a synagogue, a hotel and a museum.

Radomsko inscribed itself in history as the seat of the tzaddiks’ lineage, began in the nineteenth century by Shlomo ha-Kohen Rabinowicz, known as the Tiferes Szlomo after the title of his sefer, which is considered a classic in Hasidic literature. Before World War II, it was one of the largest Hasidic dynasties, running a network of Keter Tora (Hebrew, Crown of Law) yeshivas. Shlomo Chanoch ha-Kohen Rabinowicz, the last Radomsko tzaddik, was killed in the Warsaw ghetto on August 1, 1942. At present, the Radomsko Hasidic communities exist in Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, and their members come to Poland to pray over the graves of the founders of the dynasty buried in Radomsko and Warsaw.

On August 22, 2016, during the Yortsayt commemorating Shlomo Chanoch ha-Kohen Rabinowicz, the cornerstone of the future Hasidic centre was laid near the Jewish cemetery in Radomsko. After one year, its first part has been completed. It includes a prayer room, a canteen and toilets. The 120 square metre pavilion also houses a mikveh which will be finished in September. The kitchen still needs to be properly outfitted and the façade painted. Security is ensured by round the clock monitoring.

The centre is located at Źródlana Street, next to the second gate of the cemetery, from which the so-called Cohens road leads to the ohel of Radomsko tzaddiks. It enables the descendants of the rabbis to pass without contact with other graves, so as not to violate their ritual purity.

The construction of the centre has been undertaken by two entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom: Josh Mozes and Eliezer Zaks, a descendant of Radomsko tzaddiks. This is not the end of their investment. Within 2–3 years, the centre will be expanded considerably.

‘The centre will have four levels: basement, ground floor, and two storeys. In the basement there will be a second mikveh with three pools. Starting at the ground level there will be a synagogue, a museum, and a hotel for 50 guests and a restaurant’ – explains the manager of building works, Mariusz Domagała.

The total usable area of the centre will be about 2400 square metres. The building will have a modern shape, with the façade composed of numerous glazings. The upper floors, like a bridge, will cover the already existing pavilion.

‘The construction can cost several million zlotys’ – admits Josh Mozes. – ‘Together with Eliezer Zaks, we will fund it with our private money. It is possible that we will look for other donors. Perhaps we will apply for funds from the European Union.’

The ceremonial opening of the centre took place on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. One of the guests was Jarosław Ferenc, the Mayor of Radomsko. There were also several groups of Hasidim from Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The investment affects the life of the town. Local contractors and suppliers are already engaged in its construction, and Radomsko residents will find employment at the centre.

‘When the town will have the mikveh, which is very important, the Hasidim will be more willing to come to Radomsko and stay here for longer’ – anticipates Josh Mozes.

Krzysztof Bielawski

Source: own information