Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
The opening of a music club and disco in a 19th century Jewish learning center in Krakow is sparking controversy.
The club, called Mezcal, which is also a Mexican alcoholic beverage, opened Saturday night in the former Chewra Thilim Beit Midrash in the heart of Krakow’s Jewish district, Kazimierz.
The rundown building, built in 1896, was restituted more than a decade ago to the local Jewish religious community, which has rented it out to the club’s proprietor. The building had been empty and unmaintained for years, although valuable wall paintings were discovered there in 2008.
Mezcal occupies two floors of the building, with a bar installed in the former sanctuary. Photos from the opening event showed milling party-goers and rows of bottles lined up in front of the frescoes.
An article last week in the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper drew attention to the transformation, saying Mezcal will feature hard rock music, all-night “cool dance parties with DJs and aggressive, even metal concerts.” The newspaper ran a series of pictures showing workers installing the bar and other fittings.
The news sparked outrage, with a Facebook page set up to protest the club and comments to Gazeta calling it a “scandal.”
On Friday, British Jewish scholar Jonathan Webber, who teaches at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University, wrote an open letter to the leadership of the Krakow Jewish religious community, Poland’s chief rabbi, the Jewish media and others expressing “horror” at the situation.
“I am shocked that such a decision could have been made by those responsible for the Krakow Jewish community and for its historical and cultural heritage,” he wrote. “This is a deeply disturbing abuse of our heritage.”
Webber added, “How can we ask the Polish government and the Polish people to respect our heritage if we do not do so ourselves?”
Mezcal’s owners and the Jewish community leadership rejected the criticism.
One of Mezcal’s owners told Gazeta Wyborcza that all of their activities had been “conducted under the strict control of the conservator” and that “no monuments have suffered and will not suffer.”
Taduesz Jakubowicz, the president of the Jewish religious community, justified renting the building to the club. He told Gazeta that the community could not afford to maintain the building and had had no luck in finding other tenants.
“The owners of Mezcal are serious people and we believe that they will take care of the place properly,” he said. “If some problems would arise, we will just end our cooperation.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The IDF retaliated Monday morning for rocket fire aimed at Ashkelon after hours of quiet on the front.
Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.
The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.
If anti-Israel doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Israel-Semitic, why do anti-Israel protests always seem to be so violent?
Make up your mind: PA Chairman can’t decide whether Palestinians are sovereign state or feeble protectorate
2010 cruise to Gaza ended so well, ‘humanitarian activists’ want to try it all again.
PM Netanyahu gave an interview (in English) and talked about the cease fire violations.
Islamic Republic pledges ongoing support for Hamas, tells Meet the Press that US weapons intended to kill Arab civilians.
Hamas had been preparing a murderous massive assault on Israeli civilian targets during the upcoming Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah.
Hamas not only has no respect for the living but it also has no respect for the dead.
Kerry is consistent. He has talked so much and promised so much that, like the peace process, his ceasefire delivered nothing.
Hamas proposed a truce after rejecting it, and true to its principles, continued to fire at rockets at Israel.
Hospital staff at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikva gathered up the babies and took them to the stairway for protection after a rocket siren went off this morning.
Wouldn’t a direct wire transfer from the White House to Pyongyang have saved on the wire transfer fees?
A chief rabbi of the Netherlands said unidentified individuals hurled stones at his home in what he said was the second anti-Semitic attack on him in a week. Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the latest attack took place at 5 a.m. Thursday, when two stones were hurled through a window of his home in Amersfoort. An earlier incident outside his home […]
Wave of anti-Semitic graffiti, physical attacks spreads, this time to University of Oregon
Police in Berlin say about 1,000 demonstrators, most of them Palestinian, held an unregistered march protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza. Up to ten demonstrators were arrested for breach of the peace and for trying to forcibly free others already arrested in Saturday’s melee, a police spokesperson said. Rocks were thrown during the disturbance and a police officer was struck but […]
Leftists talk “peace” in Tel Aviv, but Arab family won’t accept condolence visit from Peres
38 year old man beaten with metal bars; Third of Malmö residents from Muslim-majority countries
A Jewish-Muslim family from Syria escaped from the country’s civil war to Israel.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/disco-opening-at-former-jewish-learning-center-stirs-controversy/2013/05/12/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: