Reposting of Jewish Observance Issues/Plans for the Warsaw Conference
From: robinnm (
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:19:42 -0800 (PST)
An Interim Report on Conference Plans to the Kosher SIG... (originally posted November 2017)

I've just returned from a trip to Warsaw to plan the details of our conference. While we are still in negotiations with the hotel that we hope to use as our conference center (It's the Hilton), I wanted to bring the Kosher SIG up to date on what I do know. This information will be broadcast to the larger Jewish Genealogy community in other forums, but I want to get a discussion going here with the people who are most likely to have questions first. You can always write to me privately at: RobinnM [at] or info [at], especially if it's a criticism!
Rabbi Michael Schudrich is the Chief Rabbi of Poland. He and his assistant, Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis (from Kansas) are eager to welcome us and to participate in our genealogy conference. I have spoken to them both this past week. (True now in February 2018 too. They reiterated this week that they will help us however they can...)
The topics I want to discuss briefly here are still up for discussion. We can modify this posting to correct whatever I get wrong or whatever we can work out that's better for us all.
1) Daily Morning Minyan:
2) Mincha/Ma'ariv:
3) Shabbat in the Hotels
4) Shabbat with the Local Community
5) Conference Food
6) Kosher Restaurants in the Area
1) Daily Morning Minyan: The local Jewish Community invites our attendees to daven Shachrit at the Nozyk Synagogue at 7:30 am daily. Afterwards, about 8:15 am, they provide breakfast. In addition, Rabbi Ellis can arrange for kosher bread to be delivered to our hotel for those who need breakfast at the conference hotel. Our first lecture of the day will begin at either 8:30 or 9 am to try to accommodate everyone. Stay tuned for our conference schedule which probably won't be finalized until around April.
2) Mincha/Ma'ariv: The conference program is not really set yet, but our intention is to finish each conference day by 8 pm which should be just in time for Mincha/Ma'ariv (about 8:04 pm according to this past summer) and there will be a conference hotel room with storage that will be available each day for evening t'fillah, but used during the day for the conference breakout sessions.
3) Shabbat in the Hotels: The Hilton Hotel & Convention Centre appears to be about a 15-20 minute walk to/from the Nozyk Synagogue. The hotel management told me that they have: four floors (floors 5-8) which can have mechanical keys; they can provide a Shabbes goy for the elevator if the stairs are too much; there will be usable refrigerators in the rooms upon request; and, the conference hotel is just a couple of blocks from Kosher Delight, a Glatt Kosher restaurant. There are several good hotel alternatives within several blocks of both Kosher Delight and the Nozyk - if our conference hotel fills up - and we are in the process of reserving small blocks of rooms at these hotels just in case. I walked through them and they are very nice. We are working on pricing now.
4) Shabbat in the Local Community: Eventually, we will need to get an understanding of how many people plan to be in Warsaw for the Shabbat before and/or after the conference. It is possible to take Shabbat meals with the local community and it is also possible to pre-arrange Shabbat meals at Kosher Delight's Restaurant on Grzybowska Street.
If there is a demand for it, we can arrange to have a Friday evening Kosher meal at the conference hotel. We will have to investigate this further, maybe by taking a poll of the conference registrants to see if it is needed or not - because the local community would like us to join them, but both arrangements might be needed.
There is a grocery store adjacent to the conference hotel and as you know, many kosher products in Poland do not have visible hashgacha, so use the kosher guides posted on this Facebook Group to check the kosher status of particular products - don't just look for heckshers on the packages.
5) Conference Food: While this conference is not expected to be completely kosher, we will have Glatt kosher food available throughout the conference on concession. We have also asked for quotes on conference reception food from Kosher Delight and we will have some or all of the plenary session food be kasher.
Within this, we will need some understanding of who needs special diets like gluten free or have specific allergies, and we will attempt not to run out of pareve food. There is some skill and some luck involved in all this, so your understanding is appreciated.
I am hoping to get a sponsor or two for kosher food, so if you are or you know someone who would like to sponsor a kosher appetizer reception any day of our conference, for the entire community - with local regional food as the theme, of course - let me know! Let me make it easy for you or your organization to be generous and helpful!
6) There are several good kosher restaurants in Warsaw. I have eaten at most if not all of them: (a) Kosher Delight is happy to have people stop in. The pareve apple cake and heart-shaped "ice cream" were outstanding if you need a nosh on a hot August day. They can serve everything from an inexpensive group meal to an elegant one. Soup, chicken, brisket - all staples are very good. (b) BeKeF has unbelievable prices in the shwarma/beef stew/salatim categories and advertises as vegan-friendly. I've loved everything I've had there... (c) Galil is a great restaurant too and I especially liked the mushroom soup, but all entries I've had there were special. They also have special event space if your SIG or BOF need it. Keep all this in mind and keep me informed, please!
Now, I can add Food Critic to my growing resume.
Please join us in Warsaw for the 2018 Conference!
I promise that you won't go hungry and it'll be special.
Robinn Magid
IAJGS 2018 Warsaw Conference Lead Co-Chair
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