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The Jewish Festival
Quite simply: the best Jewish festival in the world.
It might seem an exaggeration but for those who come year after year the unique and magical atmosphere make the Jewish Festival in Cracow an absolute must. Without a doubt, it's one of the highlights of Cracow's busy summer calendar of festivals and concerts.
The very first festival was held in 1988, in what was then communist Poland and at a time when Jewish culture was in many ways still a taboo subject. The focus of the first festival was a conference discussing Jewish and Polish culture. From these modest beginnings the festival has become a showcase for Jewish culture. Each festival includes approximately 100 events and its popularity grows year on year.
The festival is mainly held in Kazimierz, a place where Jewish culture and life was destroyed by the Nazis. In many ways the festival is living proof that the Nazis failed in their aims. The festival is a multi-faith and worldwide celebration of Jewish culture, an example of tolerance and mutual respect and a bridge between people of differing faiths and ideologies.
The festival is a mixture of concerts, films, performances, presentations and exhibitions. There are also workshops in dance, song and Jewish cooking. Interest in the event is such that it attracts worldwide television coverage. Many dignitaries also attend the Jewish festival.
The festival culminates in a spectacular free concert held on ul Szeroka. The quality of the performers that the event attracts highlights its importance. Over the years the stage in Szeroka has played host to some of the best Jewish bands, singers and musicians from around the world.
In spite of the festival's success, it relies on public donations to cover shortfalls in its funding. For details on the festival and how you can help please visit their website.