Prague JewishMOMs

Prague JewishMOMs

My husband and I just arrived in Prague yesterday, to help out with the Jewish community’s special Shabbat Project events.

This is actually my third time in Prague.

I was here in 1989, on my way back from a high-school trip to the (not yet Former) Soviet Union. After a month spent in dreary Volgograd in the shadow of a 20-story statue of a woman symbolizing the victorious Soviet motherland, coming to the beautiful city of Prague felt as wonderful as entering a sun-washed garden after a month spent in a closet.

I remember being surprised to see an international bank on the city’s central square, some Czechs (actually Czechoslovakians back then) dressed in a bit more of a Western style. The first signs of the Velvet Revolution a few years down the road….

The next time I came here was in 2001, on a trip as tourists with my parents and family. We stayed in the Jewish Quarter, and took in the sights. Again, I was blown away by this gorgeous city. By then, Prague already felt quite a bit more Western. No hints left of Czech’s scary, sad decades spent behind the Iron Curtain. I was happy to see that some other international tourists, here and there, who were also starting to discover this gorgeous pearl of a city.

And when I came yesterday, I saw a city transformed. While still breathtakingly beautiful, Prague today bears little resemblance to the city I visited in 1989. Today, Prague and its people fully resemble a Western European city. The streets lined with the shops of exclusive American and European companies. The city literally teeming with thousands of tourists, many millions of whom visit Prague over the course of the year.

And one of the most popular tourist destinations is the city’s beautifully-preserved Jewish Quarter, which housed a thriving Jewish community for centuries before Hitler managed to almost fully decimate it. The Quarter’s Jewish Museum, in fact, receives more visitors than any other museum in the entire Czech republic!

I will admit that yesterday, walking through the Jewish Quarter, it felt quite morbid. To see hundreds of non-Jewish tourists coming to hear how Jews once lived, and I wanted to yell ‘We Jews are not dinosaurs, an extinct species to be put behind glass in a museum! We are very much alive! Studying the Torah, keeping the mitzvot, and trying our best to make Hashem the center of our lives!’

And then I met up with 2 JewishMOMs here for lunch–Rebbetzin Elise Peter and Irena Nemcova. 2 pillars of the local Jewish community. Looking like JewishMOMs, in their hair-coverings and pushing baby carriages, picked up out of Jerusalem and dropped into the middle of Prague.

Proving, b’H, even after Hitler, the Communists, the silent Holocaust of assimilation– Am Yisrael Chai! Even in 2018, even here.

5 comments

  1. Wow I have shivers…so so beautiful ..enjoy your trip!

  2. Devora Sinton

    I too have shivers 🙂 Loved how you said we are not dinosaurs!!! May Hashem bless you to be an amazing Shaliach for your time there.

  3. Roberta Carasso

    Your 4-minute pep talk and now this brings us closer to the Shabbos Project. It makes me want to visit Prague and be a tourist, but a Jewish tourist.
    Thank you Jenny. Shabbat Shalom

    I only submitted one comment. There must be a bug some where.

  4. Linda Amit

    So great meeting you and your wonderful husband this Shabbos in Prague! You guys are an inspiration.
    Linda and Amos from Los Angeles 😊

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