Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Cute or Anti-Semitic?

My daughter went, months ago, on the March of the Living trip to Poland.  The trip is a real emotional jerker, one day a death camp or slaughter sight, the next day visiting the (now empty) Jewish communities and incredible world class synagogues still to be found there (empty and unused, though sometimes charging admission for a view).

While there, one of the towns had a jewish nostalgia gift ship, at which my daughter picked up these…

2013-03-19 002

Each little Jew-a-la is holding a shiny new Polish 1 Zloty coin (about 1 cent or 1 penny, if not less, in value). 

By the way, no ultra-orthodox chassidic Jew such as this has been seen or lived in Poland since World War II and the Holocaust (maybe a few, literally a few, travel to Poland for business now and again).

So – Cute or Anti-Semitic?


  1. My guess is they know their clientele coming on trips like that, and souvenirs tend to be kitschy. It's a fine line and personally, I don't like viewing the world through antisemitism-tinted glasses.

  2. On one hand, this is definitely a legitimate way to see the traditional authentic Jew. Certainly, the modern streetware most of us wear is not 'Jewish'.

    On the other hand, I recall walking in Poland with my Shoah tour, and having a couple of zloties thrown in our direction. It didn't occur to me at the time what the noise was, and the asimon only fell later.

  3. In the Jewish areas of London, it's quite common to see pennies (Very low value coins) on the pavement. Gentiles think they're being funny throw these to see if Jews will stoop to pick them up; subtle but definitely anti-semitic.

  4. cute

    The laugh is on the gentiles - these zloties that Yidden pick up are always given for tzedakah - Yidden have no shame for picking up pennies from the street. I just picked up one this morning.

  5. Dovid from ModiinJuly 12, 2013 1:17 AM

    My sons Yeshiva highly discourage purchasing anything in Poland.

  6. Actually these figurines are talismans. Keeping them in your house or your workplace is supposed to bring you wealth. It's a superstition that became popular in Poland in the last ten years. They come in different sizes and shapes.
    Personally I owe two of those :P


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