In 1988, one year before the official end of communism in our country, Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat organized a series of events presenting Jewish past of our country and Jewish contribution to its development. For the first time after WWII things Jewish became again a part of a cultural social dispute in a positive context. For many years things Jewish in Poland were a taboo. Those, who were killed during the Holocaust and those, who were expelled from our country in 1968 were not a part of social memory in our country. The first edition of the festival started to change it and inauguratedan important process of regaining Jewish identity of our country.
From that small, local event, the festival has grown to one of the most important cultural events in our city and country. Outside of Poland, Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow is one of the best known, recognized and appreciated by both artists and audience cultural events from Poland.
Every year the Festival features almost 300 events during 10 days. 30,000 participants from many countries of the entire globe take part in workshops, lectures, discussions, guided tyours, and of course in various musical events: from concerts to DJ-parties to jam sessions. 150 artists, instructors and lecturers share their experience with our audience.
Truth and authenticity are the core values for us.
Cracow, Kazimierz—the symbol after the war of Jewish absence, it has again become a place of Jewish presence. The mirror of the Festival reflects the diverse beauty of Jewish culture, the richness of life, and the profundity of religion.
Our attitude toward Tradition is respectful—but we are not confined exclusively to Tradition. We pay tribute to the past while thinking unceasingly about the future.
We live here and now in a dynamically changing real world. We show those changes the moment they occur. Today’s orthodoxy was yesterday’s heresy.
We are contemporary heretics—hungry for what was, what is, and what shall be. We don’t care about applause or pandering to fashion.
All we care about is the standard of artistic truth. Authenticity. Our festival is the most old-school, radical, avant-garde festival of Jewish culture in the world!
We never have been and never will be a klezmer festival! We are a festival of diverse worlds: the worlds of Ashkenazy, Sephardic, Oriental, and finally of Israeli culture.