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Mikvah discovered in basement of former strip club in Poland

(JTA) — Before the Holocaust, the population of the town of Chmielnik, Poland, was around 80% Jewish. Sephardic Jews, having been expelled from Spain during the Inquisition, settled in Chmielnik and eventually built a synagogue in 1638.

After the war, only four Jews remained. Today, the building houses a museum of the town’s Jewish life and history.

Now another Jewish heritage site has been discovered, in an unlikely place.

A few years ago, Marian Zwolski, a businessman from Chmielnik, purchased a former nightclub that has been closed for 15 years. When he opened the door to the basement of his new property, he discovered something unexpected: a mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath.

The bath’s blue and white floor tiles are still there, as are Stars of David on the wall. A smaller mikvah, likely used by women, is in a neighboring room.

“It’s astonishing,” said Meir Bulka, who advocates for the preservation of Jewish heritage in Poland, in an interview with Haaretz. “You enter the basement, and you’re in another world. It’s like a time capsule.”

A businessman purchased an abandoned building in Chmielnik, and discovered a mikveh underneath. Now, he is looking for investors to help him establish a heritage site and preserve the town’s Jewish history

— Ofer Aderet עופר אדרת (@oferaderet) August 20, 2023

Just up the stairs from the mikvah — which is full of water — are remnants of the former Sphinx club: a Heineken sign, a pole for strippers, decorations of ancient Egypt and plenty of mold and leaks, according to the Haaretz report.

Zwolski, who also operates a funeral home in nearby Kielce — the site of a 1946 pogrom that killed 42 Jews — told Haaretz he is hoping to turn his new mikvah into a tourist attraction, possibly a museum.

“I was born and raised here, so I care about the history of the place. I don’t want it to disappear,” Zwolski says. “I encourage the people to remember the past and I also call on you, the Jews, to preserve it and see to it that it is memorialized.”

The post Mikvah discovered in basement of former strip club in Poland appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Explosion from Hezbollah Drone Leaves Man Seriously Injured in Northern Israel

A suspected Hezbollah drone launched from Lebanon into Israeli territory on July 18, 2022. Photo: IDF

i24 NewsA resident of northern Israel sustained serious injuries on Saturday after an explosive-laden drone, believed to be dispatched by Hezbollah from Lebanon, detonated in a kibbutz located in the Galilee region, according to the Israeli military.

The victim, identified as a member of the Hanita local security team who also served as an IDF reservist, was rushed to a hospital for treatment following the incident.

The Israeli army confirmed that his family has been notified of the situation.

Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon, had previously claimed responsibility for targeting a building utilized by Israeli forces in the border community.

According to Hezbollah’s statement, the group launched suicide drones and rockets from Lebanon towards the northern Israeli community on Saturday afternoon. Sirens alerting residents of incoming drones were sounded in multiple towns near the northern border on two separate occasions.

The attacks by Hezbollah come amidst heightened tensions in the region, with the group reportedly carrying out daily rocket, missile, and drone assaults on northern Israel, particularly amid the conflict in Gaza.

Just a day prior, on Friday night, Hezbollah unleashed a significant barrage of rockets and explosives-laden drones at northern Israel. The onslaught occurred as the country braced for potential retaliatory strikes by Iran or its proxies in response to an alleged Israeli attack in Syria.

The Syrian strike purportedly resulted in the deaths of several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The post Explosion from Hezbollah Drone Leaves Man Seriously Injured in Northern Israel first appeared on

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Israel Calls Off School Trips, Puts Forces on Full Alert Amid Iran Threat

An Israeli F-35 aircraft is seen on a runway during ‘Blue Flag,’ an aerial exercise hosted by Israel with the participation of foreign air force crews, at the Ovda military air base, southern Israel, Nov. 11, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen / File.

Israel called off on Saturday school trips and other youth activities planned for the coming days, the beginning of the Passover festival, and placed the armed forces on full alert due to a possible attack by Iran.

Announcing the measures in a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said dozens of combat planes were airborne as part of the state of readiness.

The post Israel Calls Off School Trips, Puts Forces on Full Alert Amid Iran Threat first appeared on

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Russian Forces Seize Village in Donetsk

Ukrainian soldiers stand in front of a building with a Ukrainian flag on it, during an operation that claims to liberate the first village amid a counter-offensive, in a location given as Blahodatne, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, in this screengrab taken from a handout video released on June 11, 2023. Photo: 68th Separate Hunting Brigade ‘Oleksy Dovbusha’/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsThe Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday that its forces had successfully seized control of the village of Pervomaiske in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, marking a significant tactical advancement on the front line in the ongoing conflict.

While Russia has claimed it has fully taken village, it has not been confirmed yet.

Simultaneously, a Russia-installed official in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region reported that shelling by Ukraine’s military had resulted in the deaths of 10 people, including three children, in the town of Tokmak.

Yevgeny Balitsky, the top Moscow-installed official in the Zaporizhzhia region, revealed that 18 individuals had sustained injuries during the shelling on Friday night.

During the day, Russian troops shelled 8 settlements, striking more than 400 times in Zaporizhzhia Region, destroying residential buildings and infrastructure. There was no information on casualties, the Regional State Administration reports.

Zaporizhzhia RSA

— T4P (@t4p_ua) April 13, 2024

Furthermore, Balitsky noted the significant destruction in the town, stating, “Two people are reported missing. Debris removal and search continues,” through the Telegram messaging app.

The post Russian Forces Seize Village in Donetsk first appeared on

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