Fight among Jewish groups ends with armed guards at Krakow synagogue

Security guards bar worshipers affiliated with the Chabad movement from entering a synagogue in Krakow, Poland, amid a property dispute between its Chabad-affiliated rabbi and the city’s separate Orthodox Jewish community.

The Chabad community has been leasing the building from the Jewish Community of Krakow, which is not affiliated with Chabad, since 2008, according to the daily Gazeta Wyborca. A representative of the Chabad congregation tells the paper that it has a valid lease on the building.

But on Monday, guards from a private security firm wearing balaclavas blocked the entrance to what is commonly known as the Izaak Synagogue. The regular worshipers prayed outside the locked synagogue and called police, who arrived at the scene.

The Jewish Community of Krakow — which last month faced protests for its leasing of a former synagogue to serve as a bar cafe — had also recently shut down the building’s water and electricity supply in a bid to get the Chabad congregation to leave, according to the report.

Guards from a private security firm wearing balaclavas block the entrance to the Izaak Synagogue in Krakow, Poland, amid a dispute between the local Jewish community and the Chabad-run synagogue, July 1, 2019. (Michael Berenbaum via JTA)


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