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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Culture Festival’

Cheder Center In Krakow

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

      I am constantly asked if there are things to do in Poland other then those that are Holocaust related. People going to Poland are often burnt out after visiting Auschwitz and need a breather, something a little lighter. In Krakow there are a number of places that could be of interest. The main square of the city is a major tourist site with a lot of gift and souvenir shops. There are also plenty of art shops and in good weather one will find a good number of street performers from jugglers to musicians.

    But being in Krakow one cannot ignore the Jewish aspect of the city. Even when it is not Festival time there are plenty of Jewish things to do in the city. To visit all the synagogues can take almost a full day and then there are the many Jewish bookstores, five at last count, that have all kinds of books with Jewish themes in half-a-dozen languages. Some of the restaurants that have kosher-sounding names, but are decidedly not kosher, often have live Klezmer music.

     There is also the Galicia Museum that, as the name says, features exhibits on different towns around Galicia.

    The newest to Krakow is the Cheder, located just off the Kazimierz Square at Ul. Jozefa 36. Created by the Jewish Culture Festival Association in Krakow, it will be part of the wide-ranging educational process that has been underway in Kazimierz for almost 20 years, of which the Jewish Culture Festival has been a key element since 1988.



Evening of accordian music at the Cheder

     Alluding to the Cheder as a place for Jewish education, we want to create a place in Kazimierz where people can deepen their knowledge of Jewish culture and Judaism. We will carry out educational, musical, and film projects at the Cheder throughout the year, to enhance and supplement the events on the annual Jewish Culture Festival schedule.

     Cheder is housed in a former prayer room, built by the Chevrah Ner Tamid (Brotherhood of Eternal Light) on the ground floor of a building, which was part of the High Synagogue complex. Destroyed by Nazis during WW II. The building had not been used since as a synagogue.

     Renovation of the space was possible thanks to the grants from the Ford Foundation and Tad Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture. Thanks to these grants we not only renovated, but also adopted and equipped the space to fit to the new functions.

Bookshelves accommodate book collections of the Society, which will be made available for anyone interested. Alicja Panasiewicz and Ewa Gordon designed the library, as well as some of the furniture, especially for the space. A big screen, DVD player and projector enable showing films in high quality; audio equipment provides good quality of musical events.

    The Cheder is also a place to try Israeli coffee brewed in the traditional finjan, with a dash of cardamom or cinnamon. Now the cafe will be opened only at the time of the events in the Cheder but we hope very soon we will invite you there on daily basis, offering excellent coffee, music, nice ambience and a little bit of rest from a nervous daily rhythm of life.

     Some of the events that have taken place at the Cheder include lectures, films and musical interludes. The events have been both religious and secular in content, bringing Jewish culture to Krakow outside the realm of the two weeks of the festival.

     For more information on The Cheder: 36 Jozefa Street, 31-056 Krakow, Poland,
Tel. 481-2431-1517, office@jewishfestival.pl.

Shmuel Ben Eliezer

Jewish Culture Festival In Krakow

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

   The 17th Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow just concluded and has lived up to the promise of being one of the most exciting Jewish festivals around the globe.


         This year there were a few new stars taking center stage, most notably the famous Jewish singer/actor, Theodore Bikel. 


         Chazan Benzion Miller gave a rousing performance in the town of Bobowa, home of the Bobover Chassidim.


         On Shabbat the kosher Eden Hotel, in the heart of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, played host to more than 50 people, with delicious traditional food, like gefilte fish and cholent. The hotel was also host to a post-festival banquet that lasted till 3 o’clock in the morning.


         The most famous feature of the festival was the music, but there were also many classes in Jewish subjects. There was kosher cooking, Jewish song/dance, paper cutting, art motifs, Hebrew/Yiddish and many other topics.


          Festival Director, Janusz Makuch, deserves a Yashar Koach for the monumental job he did in transforming the streets of Krakow into a scene of Jewish pride and culture.



Rabbi Michael Schudrich and Rabbi Gluck making Havdalah for thousands at The Festival on live Polish TV.




Chazan Benzion Miller performing during the final concert in front of the Old Synagogue in Krakow.




Theodore Bikel on stage at the festival.




Janusz Makuch, backstage, at the festival.




Some of the 20,000 people in front of the festival stage.




Children learning to incorporate Jewish designs in their artwork.



Foundation Stone Set For Museum of Jewish History In Poland


         It has been almost 15 years since the conception of the idea for a museum of 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland, but the dream took a great jump forward last week, with a gathering of museum supporters from around the world.


         Representing Poland, the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, called for a reconciliation between Jews and Poles, suggesting the museum be used as a catalyst in forging new ties.


         David Peleg, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, reads a letter from Israel President-Elect Shimon Perez, a long time friend and honorary officer of the project.


         Rabbi Lau of Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor, born in Poland, spoke passionately and eloquently of how the museum will be a place where Jews and Poles will have the opportunity to learn that the history of the Jews in Poland was more then just the five years of the Shoah. The Jews were an integral part of Polish society, involved in the arts, economics, and even politics.





Rabbi Michael Schudrich of Poland with Rabbi Lau of Israel at the Foundation Stone Ceremony.




Dignitaries line up to sign Scroll of Honor. Included in the group are Marion Turski, President Lech Kacynski, Jerzy Halbersztadt, Sigmund Rolat and Tad Taube.




President Lech Kacynski and Jerzy Halbersztadt on the way to bury the Scroll of Honor in the foundation.





Some of the hundreds of people that braved the pouring rain to attend the Placing of the Foundation Stone.





Shmuel Ben Eliezer signing the Scroll of Honor.





Sigmund Rolat of N.Y. receiving a certificate in recognition of his strong support of the Museum.

Shmuel Ben Eliezer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/jewish-culture-festival-in-krakow/2007/07/04/

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