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WARSAW, – Poland’s president has celebrated the start of Hanukkah with Warsaw’s Jewish community – the first time a Polish head of state has attended a religious service in a synagogue.
The Jewish community is describing Lech Kaczynski’s visit Sunday as a historic step.
Kaczynski entered Warsaw’s century-old Nozyk synagogue just after sundown. The congregation rose and a group of Jewish children sang “Shalom Aleichem” – “peace be upon you.”
The president lit a candle for a silver menorah.
Most of Poland’s Jews were killed in the Holocaust and those who remained after World War II suffered from communist-era anti-Semitism. Jewish life has gradually been re-emerging since Poland shed communism in 1989.
Associated Press – December 21, 2008
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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