Property Dispute Pits Jewish Groups Against Each Other in Krakow Synagogue Battle

Security guards blocked the entrance to the Izaak Synagogue after Chabad rabbi and other members of the Orthodox community sparred over the building

Cnaan Liphshiz
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The Izaak Synagogue in Krakow
The Izaak Synagogue in Krakow Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Cnaan Liphshiz

Security guards barred worshippers from a Krakow synagogue amid a property dispute between its Chabad-affiliated rabbi and others from the city’s tiny Orthodox Jewish community.

On Monday, guards from a private security firm wearing balaclavas blocked the entrance to what is commonly known as the Izaak Synagogue, Gazeta Wyborca reported. The regular worshipers called police, who arrived at the scene.

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 report. A representative of the Chabad congregation told the daily that it has a valid lease on the building.

The Jewish Community of Krakow, which last month faced protests for its leasing of a former synagogue to serve as a bar cafe, shut down the water and electricity to the Isaak building recently in a bid to get the Chabad congregation to leave, the article said.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency was not able to reach leaders of the Jewish Community of Krakow for a comment on Monday morning. Attempts to reach them by the Polish daily also were unsuccessful.

The Chabad congregation members prayed outside the locked synagogue.