We arrived in Poznan (formerly Posen) mid-afternoon, and we had scheduled a meeting with a community activist who was going to put us in touch with more Jews in the area.
When our meeting was pushed off an hour, we decided to explore the city. In its heyday Posen was home to a rich and vibrant Jewish community, including the outstanding scholar and authority on Jewish law, Rabbi Akiva Eiger. We strolled through the city trying to picture what it would have looked like then.
Half an hour into our walk, we noticed a man waving enthusiastically to us from his storefront. We went inside and greeted the gentleman and his wife, both of whom wore crosses around their necks. The store turned out to be a painting gallery, and the couple spoke English, so we had a nice chat.
On our way out, we asked them if they knew any local Jews. To our astonishment, the wife said, “Actually, I am Jewish!” We turned back around, sat down, and discussed Judaism, the importance of Jewish education for children, and mitzvahs they could start doing. We also put them in contact with the Chabad rabbi in Warsaw, Rabbi Shalom Stambler.
We bade them farewell and headed to our appointment, marveling at the divine providence we just encountered. Clearly, G-d was orchestrating our schedule…