Rabbi evicted from Krakow synagogue must be allowed back, Polish court rules
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Rabbi evicted from Krakow synagogue must be allowed back, Polish court rules

Jewish community barred Chabad’s Eliezer Gurary from premises, claiming he and his congregants damaged site

Worshippers locked out of Izaak Synagogue, Krakow, July 1, 2019 (Courtesy Rabbi Avi Baumol)
Worshippers locked out of Izaak Synagogue, Krakow, July 1, 2019 (Courtesy Rabbi Avi Baumol)

A Chabad-affiliated rabbi evicted along with his congregation from a Krakow synagogue building owned by the city’s Jewish community must be allowed back in.

In its ruling Tuesday, the District Court for Kraków Śródmieście termed the July eviction of Rabbi Eliezer Gurary a “violation” of the leasing agreement between the rabbi and the Jewish Community of Krakow.

The court is “ordering the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow to remove all physical obstacles in using the above-mentioned premises and the release of these rooms for use by the Chabad Lubawicz Krakow Foundation,” the ruling said.

Gurary’s lawyers had sued the community shortly after the eviction from the Izaak Synagogue.

The rabbi, who had worked at the synagogue for years with the consent of the Jewish Community of Krakow, was barred from entering by security guards hired by the community.

The community said in a statement that Gurary’s congregants had damaged the synagogue, which Gurary denies. Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, condemned the eviction.

A standoff evolved when dozens of Jewish protesters, many from Gurary’s congregation, came to protest the synagogue closure. Schudrich joined the protest and climbed the fence as the media filmed the incident.

Chabad has two weeks to file for damages from the community over the eviction, the ruling said.

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