So why Prague? Having spent three previous conferences in Central Europe, let’s go visit Eastern Europe. While the Soviet bloc ended more than 20 years ago, you can still see remnants today. The Czech Republic is a country that has been tossed around by many countries and empires over the years, but Prague’s beauty is still apparent. It radiates charm and has unique foods, architecture and culture. Through its deep history we can learn about the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Hussite Wars, the Habsburgs and Austro-Hungarian Empire, the annexation of the Sudetenland to Hitler and his occupation, Communism and the Velvet Revolution.
More importantly, the Jewish quarter was not destroyed during World War II because Hitler wanted to keep it as a “museum to the extinct race.” It is one of the oldest Jewish quarters in Europe and you can see four functioning synagogues, architecture, and imagine the life of Prague’s Jews, living in their Jewish ghetto next to Old Town Square. The oldest synagogue in Europe, built in the 12th century, is quite amazing to see. We will spend time understanding Prague’s history, culture, stories, literature, and its modernity through walking tours and free time.
We will take a half day to visit Terezin transit camp, about an hour from Prague. This camp brought in nearly all the Czech and Hungarian Jews who were on their way to other camps. This unique work camp still allowed music and art classes, theatre and opera shows. It deceived the Red Cross, who paid a visit, that its humanitarian conditions were suitable for all. Its art, journals, stories and music that we can see today are outstanding yet numbing.
We are sure that Prague will be an amazing place to spend New Year’s Eve. We look forward to Muchan, spending it with everyone from different places around the world, worshipping together in many languages AND learning more and more about Yeshua.