International Festival of Jewish Culture

2 min read    33 comments

This tremendous festival has been held in Krakow for over twenty years now, and the former Jewish district of Kazimierz has itself steadily regained its colours during those years. Kazimierz may still be somewhat rundown in parts, but it's now one of the most spellbinding areas in Krakow, and the Festival of Jewish Culture is undoubtedly one of the brightest feathers in its cap.

Every year in June or July visitors are able to enjoy celebrated Jewish and Jewish-inspired acts from across the globe strutting their stuff in Kazimerz's synagogue, cellars, theatres and cafes. Amongst regular performers, hot names to look out for are Kroke, Brave Old World, The Cracow Klezmer Band and Ukrainian newcomers The Kharkov Klezmer Band.

On top of all this music, every year there is an interesting programme of book launches, lectures, tours of Jewish sites with international experts, and even introductions to the weird and wonderful world of Jewish cuisine - in short a unique insight into Poland's rich Jewish legacy. During the Renaissance and Baroque eras, Jews talked of Krakow as a 'Jewish Paradise', such was the extent of their freedoms and of the richness of cultural life in the city.

A key support player in the festival will be the Galicia Museum (ul. Dajwor 18). This recently opened enterprise deserves a special mention, not simply due to its programme of events for the festival, but also for its permanent exhibition, which could not come more highly recommended if you're curious about Poland's Jewish legacy. Their exhibition is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Every year the festival culminates in a huge open air concert on the picturesque Szeroka Street (the aptly named Wide Street). It's a lot of fun and there'll be plenty of dancing and merry-making to round things off.

You can pick up a printed copy of the festival programme from the Cultural Information Office just off Krakow's Main Market Square at ul. sw. Jana 2. Or if you want to keep tabs on the latest news online, check out the Local Life events section, where you'll find up to the minute information on what's going on.

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Reuben
United States

I am planning a European trip next year and (2018) one of my stops will be in Krakow and I would like to plan it to be at a time when the Jewish Cultural Festival is in progress. Could you please send me that information. Thank You, Reuben Ungar

Reply May 30th, 2017
Doreen
India

I was there on the last day... I just arrived in Poland a few days ago.. Caught a glimpse of that singer Michael mentioned & Ih I agree with him.

Reply Jul 13th, 2012
Michael
United Kingdom

Can,t remember seeing a worse American singer than thisfemale artist. Seemed like she was on for an eternity. Great festival otherwise

Reply Jul 7th, 2012
Rabbi Allen Maller
United States

Many Poles who are interested in Klezmer music may have Jewish souls according to an American Progressive Rabbi; Allen Maller who was a scholar in residence at the Reform Progressive Synagogue Beit Warzawa in September and October of 2010. Rabbi Maller spoke of a Kabbalah teaching that Jewish souls from previous generations of Jews who were cut off from the Jewish people and left no Jewish descendants, were reincarnated in their non-Jewish descendants 3-7 generations later.

Reply Jul 3rd, 2012
Agnieszka - Staypoland.com
United States

"In 2012 the Festival of Jewish Culture is scheduled to start on Friday, June 29th to end on Sunday, July 8th."

Reply Mar 12th, 2012
Jack
United Kingdom

When are the Neimah Singers coming back to Krakow - they are without doubt the best choir in the world, and the standard has fallen in the past couple of years

Reply Mar 11th, 2012
Cheryl
United States

I can't believe the next jewish festival 2012 is 4 months away and I can't get any definitive dates. Please help.

Reply Feb 27th, 2012
Sigrid
Germany

Please tell me the dates of the festival in 2012. Will there be a basic course of Yiddish language in English (or German)?

Reply Oct 31st, 2011
Tzippy ronen
United States

What are the dates of the 2012 festival? Does someone have a recommendation of a tour?

Reply Oct 10th, 2011
Michael Bar-On
Israel

We are a Male voice choir centered in Jerusalem. We have been active for some thirteen years and have appeared before the President of Israel.We have had concert tours to England in 2005,2007,2010 and participated in the International Eisteddfod in Wales in 2005. Our choir, the Ramatayim Male Voice Choir has broadcasted on the BBC in in England and on Israeli Radio.We would be interested in the possibility of performing in Krakow in June 2012

Reply Jun 14th, 2011
janne luna
Germany

I was carried away by the music and the temperament of the singers. What a rivetting event!In a couple of weeks I will savour it again. Am looking forward to going back to Kazimierz, although I can't deny a deep and bitter-sweet melancholy when I am there. hugs, j.

Reply May 21st, 2011
Marcel Manson
United Kingdom

I have been taking groups to this fantastic event for the last 15 years, the mix of Jewish music and the atmosphere of a once great Jewish district seeps out of the cobbled streets.

Reply Apr 11th, 2011
a.a.ryan
Australia

looking for good orgeniser including klezmer festival krakow 2011.party up to 8 in thair 60,s.

Reply Aug 29th, 2010
joan ominsky
United States

do you have the dates for 2011? Thanks.

Reply Jul 30th, 2010
United States

go and eat meat wiv milk suckers

Reply Jul 13th, 2010
Larry Rosenberg
United States

Would you please recommend one or more reasonably priced tour services, from the United States to Krakow, that focus only or mainly on the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, June 26-July 4, 2010? On the Internet, I found the PolandJewishHeritageTours.com, but it is too expensive for me. Thank you. Larry Rosenberg, in Arizona, USA. larryros@gmail.com

Reply May 1st, 2010
Jen
United States

Sounds like an awesome festival!

Reply Mar 30th, 2010
Al and Kate Powell
United Kingdom

Had an amazing time at the festival, and yes, the closing party was fantastic. Balkan Beat Box especially good. Got bthe whole crowd going!

Reply Jul 31st, 2009
Marek
Poland

Enjoy the festival. you must go to the 'Shalom on the Szeroka' party on the last day. Great party and unforgettable atmosphere.

Reply Jun 30th, 2009
rob
United Kingdom

Thanks for the new festival dates and link (in English!!!). Should be a good show this year.

Reply May 30th, 2009
Marcel Manson
United Kingdom

I take a group [non profit] each year for Jewish festival and organise Stehtl trip and Krakow city Jewish tours and take over a a hotel in Jewiosh quarter and should contact me by e-mail if you wish to join this years trip

Reply Apr 24th, 2009
Rennie Cohen
United States

What are the dates for the 2009 festival?

Reply Feb 16th, 2009
Rennie Cohen
United States

This page is really helpful in telling me what goes on.

Reply Feb 16th, 2009
vered
Netherlands

what are the dates for the Jewish cultural festival in 2009?

Reply Dec 23rd, 2008
Mauro
Italy

What are the date for next year 09? Is Klezmer music festival a constant of this festival. Where I can get more information on this specific topic?. Thanks a lot. Mauro

Reply Dec 19th, 2008
giella
United States

What are the dates for the 08 festival. Please let me know as soon as possible. Why is this not on the internet? Everyone in the world is looking for this?

Reply May 2nd, 2008
Mindy
United States

2008 dates appear to be June 28-July 6, according to the festival's website at www.jewishfestival.pl/

Reply Oct 10th, 2007
Sarah Krakauer
United States

When are the dates for the 2008 Jewish Festival, please? Thanks.

Reply Sep 28th, 2007
Juergen Paschke
Germany

Please give me the dates of the Cracow Jewish Culture Festival 2008. - Hiermit bitte ich um das Datum des Krakauer Jiddisch-Festivals 2008. - Hob a dank!

Reply Sep 27th, 2007
Dan
United States

Are there dates for 2008 set yet?

Reply Sep 6th, 2007
Sue
United States

Excellent site with very good and useful information! I have a question: Do you know the dates of the Jewish Festival in 2008? Please send dates to me if you have them! Thank you so much...I have saved your site to 'my favorites'

Reply Aug 20th, 2007
Marlene
United States

I just learned about this festival! Can I please find out the dates for 2008?

Reply Jul 14th, 2007
Tom
United Kingdom

Jewish Culture Festival that has been an annual fixture in the city's cultural agenda since 1988.

Reply Apr 25th, 2007