Some 800 men and boys over the age of 13 wrapped tefillin in Poland this week—70 for the first time—as part of the annual March of the Living, which brings individuals from all over the world to Poland and then Israel to study the history of the Holocaust, and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate.
Among those who put on Tefillin were Israeli air-force pilots who joined the April 24 march.
Thousands of teenage boys and girls participated, getting the unique CTeen experience beneath a large pavilion erected in Warsaw for the occasion. On the first day, the welcome ceremony drew more than 1,000 teens from around the world. Hundreds stopped at mitzvah booths, enjoyed kosher refreshments and observed a pictorial essay of Jewish life in pre-war Poland.
Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries came from Argentina, Israel and New York to run the many workshops and activities throughout Shabbat.
The project was spearheaded by Rabbi Meir Stambler and organized by Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Poland, in collaboration with CTeen International and CTeen Israel. The worldwide youth organization, overseen by executive director of Merkos 302 Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, has seen exponential growth with the support of the Meromim Foundation, headed by Rabbi Bentzi Lipskier.