When we started, in 2019, a series of festivals dedicated to the four elements, we did not expect how current these topics would be.
When, during the 29th JCF, we decided to invite you to the Festival events to the Tent, we could not expect that this would be an ideal and adequate formula in the new (post)pandemic reality.
And, when in 2008, we started to broadcast the Festival concerts live, we never thought that this would not only be an additional attraction, but one of the main forms of our activity.
For more than 30 years which have passed since the first edition of the JCF in 1988, we have shown you that we are always close to you, close to the topics which matter for you. We have never created “art for art’s sake”, but we talked about how the Jewish tradition relates to the issues which are important for all of us in the everyday life.
This year will not be different in this respect: we will refer to the issues and the problems which make up our daily lives, fill the news and occupy our minds and hearts.
The heart of the Festival, the heart of Kazimierz and the heart of Jewish culture will beat just here – at the intersection of Józefa and Wąska streets. The parking lot will be turned into a spacious, airy and comfortable meeting place. From morning till night, we will be waiting for you with lectures, literary meetings, discussions, classes for seniors, live music shows, films, Shabbat breakfasts and also concerts and DJ parties, not to forget the Finjan coffee!
Every morning will great you with new topics and ideas provided by Aga Kozak – her vibrant personality is a guarantee of many surprises which will allow you to start each day comfortably and wisely. Anda Rottenberg, Ernest Niemczyk, Boaz Pash, Jacek Leociak and certainly, Janusz Makuch will tell you about fire and its various emanations and meanings in Jewish tradition – and in our everyday life.
The literary program will introduce you to the works of Bernardo Kuciński, Stanisław Lem, David Grossman, Piotr Smolar; you will have the opportunity to listen to the talks moderated by Małgorzata Szczurek, Michał Nogaś, Szymon Kloska, Grzegorz Jankowicz and the stories of Studnia O. [“O Well”]
Max Czollek will guide you through the meanders of contemporary culture: in the talks with our special guests and in the comments for the films you will hear the New Jewish Voices – that is how Jewish artists (among others: Sasha Marianna Salzman and Arkadij Khaet) perceive the role of contemporary prose, music and theatre. And where can fire be found!
The JCF Tent will also be the place of film screenings (also those with music played live, such as “Golem” with live music played by Sarapata x Marcela Rybska), live broadcasts for Off Radio Krakow; this will also be the place where you may have (or collect) your Shabbat breakfast or listen to some incredible music. But we will talk about this later.
You will be tuned into listening to music by an international debate about the contemporary Jewish music with the participation of Neta Elkayam, Frank London, Jeremiah Lockwood and Raphael Rogiński.
Also films come back to the JCF. Apart from the prewar “Golem”, mentioned previously, you will also see “Mamboniks” – a film about what the Jews and the Cubans have in common, and also “Masel Tov Coctail” about the life of Jewish immigrants in Germany and…. Kutiman’s psychedelic collage, titled “Wachaga”.
Oh – have we told you yet that JCF has never been so much a woman, as it is going to be this year?
Women play a very important role in Jewish tradition – they are the ones responsible for keeping up customs, raising children, and making the Jewish home truly Jewish. In the contemporary world, however, Jewish women also take on a variety of social roles and influence all areas of life; they are no longer merely the guardians of the home, but also citizens, tending to the fire of the law and tradition not only at home, but also in society at large.
This will be the subject of a series of meetings organized in cooperation with Magda Majchrzak and entitled Sisterhood. Come and meet the women who are changing the course of the world and doing so in the spirit of Jewish tradition, for which “world repair” is a key concept.
The power of Jewish women will take center stage not only in this series of meetings, but also in many other events: lectures, concerts, art projects, and other festival happenings.
We are aware that for many of you, music plays the role of a magnet attracting you to the JCF. This year, although a few leading events will be missing from the program, we will open some entirely new music worlds and contexts.
Do you enjoy classics? If yes, you will be seduced by Marimbazzi Duo with a program of contemporary Jewish composers or perhaps by a capella white singing performed by three ladies from the Gurgulitza trio? Or perhaps you will be interested in a new perspective of the Yiddish music presented by Jordan Lee Schnee? And the concert prepared especially for the JCF by Janek Młynarski will definitely be for you!
If you are more into the chill – feel invited! We have not only the relaxing DJ sets for you (for examples those performed by Adam Kvasnica), but also live concerts from the Negev desert at sunset, and if you manage to stay with us till the morning – we will welcome the sunrise with music.
The JCF will be opened not with the traditional Concert of the Cantors, but the concert of the Israeli duo, Dark Matter. They will bring back Copernicus to the courtyard of the Collegium Maius – in their special out-of-this-world project prepared especially for us, together with a Polish singer, Erith.
Do you remember the hip-hop night at Alchemia in 2019? Now we have something special for you: the newly opened hall of the Museum of Urban Engineering will be the stage for the concert of Łona & Webber and The Pimps. If you wonder why, just come and see – than everything will be clear. And be ready for anything. Like during the concert by the punk-rock girl band, Jealous.
The real revolution will come at the closure of the 30th JCF. We have already mentioned that the Festival will not be inaugurated by the Cantors’ Concert. Neither will it be closed with the Shalom on Szeroka street. As this year, the Festival closing event will feature the CONCERT OF FEMALE CANTORS, the first one in Poland!
For many years now, the JCF enters the space of Kazimierz – we have created two murals, a jubilee Festival town – the JCF Quarter; we also invited you for picnics on the Jerusalem Boulevard which we built at the bank of the Vistula, and, finally – to the JCF Tent. This year, however, we will go further than that.
We have invited 10 artists from many world countries to create, together with Polish partners, and with the use of the resources available in the pandemic, site-specific projects, which you will encounter during the Festival in many places of Kazimierz, during your walks. This will not only feature installations or objects referring to Kazimierz’s history and identity, but also happenings and actions involving you as well so that you could become a part of Kazimierz, the Festival, and its identity.
Can you imagine the JCF without cooking? That’s right – culinary events will not be missed from our anniversary edition. Certainly, you can try the tastes of Israel at our Cheder, but for the Festival – it must be something special.
Thus, apart from the Shabbat breakfast, which we have already talked about, we also invite you to …. a fiery supper! No one other than Robert Makłowicz himself will invite you to the mysterious place outside the town, where you can expect not only a great feast, but also an exclusive journey to the world of Robert Makłowicz.
Workshops for Seniors have always reached further than a merely standard offer for senior residents of Krakow. During the 30th JCF we will invite our adults to report workshops with Jakub Janus, a discussion panel about senior emigrants conducted by the founders of Salam Lab, or series of workshops with Rethinkinhg Refugees.
You are also invited to various podcasts and walks around Kazimierz and … well – we plan a few surprises for you!
And if you cannot join us in Kazimierz – you may see all the events online for free! The details will follow!