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32nd JCF | ACCREDITATION
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The 32nd edition of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow will be held between June 28th and July 2nd. This is the fourth edition dedicated to the elements. Having had earth, fire and water, the time came now for the air. In Hebrew, the air is ruah, but this word in Hebrew has many different meanings. As Janusz Makuch writes:
Three basic meanings fit within the word “air”, which in the Tanakh has the form of the ruah:
1. Spirit (Divine) – Ruah Elochim (The Book of Judges, 6:34, The Book of Samuel 1, 16:14, The Book of 1 Kings, 18:12)
2. Breath, the life-giving breath (cf. The Book of Ezekiel 37: 5, the Book of Job, 12:10 )
3. Wind (The Book of Exodus, 10:13, the Book of Numbers, 11:31 )
While looking for “the common element” which contains the three core meanings of the word RUAH – the Spirit, the Breath and the Wind, which, as a Jewish sign is eligible for (almost) everyone, this year we refer to the notion/instrument, whose sound – on account of the awareness of the breath – expresses both Ruah Elohim, Divine presence and also our human, imperfect yet invaluable, presence and, owing to the air/wind, it reaches the most remote areas of the human souls and its world.
This word / image / instrument is SHOFAR.
Full text by Janusz Makuch is here
The 32nd JCF will be held exactly 35 years after the first edition of the JCF in 1988.
The small-scale edition of the JCF, taking place in a Krakow cinema Mikro, gave rise to the largest in the world Jewish Culture Festival, which not only presents the achievements of the contemporary Jewish culture in Israel, Poland and the entire Diaspora, but is also the largest ambassador of the Israeli culture in the world.
The first three editions of the JCF were held every two years, and in 2020 the Prologue of the 30th JCF was organized, which explains why the 32nd edition of the JCF is held in the 35th year of the Festival existence.
The 32nd JCF will be held in the 75th year of the existence of the State of Israel.
In May 1948, the state of Israel was proclaimed – becoming the home of the millions of Jews from the entire world: this is not only the place where they found shelter, but also the place where the most authentic Jewish culture is born: rich and diverse, like all who came to Eretz Israel from all corners of the world. The JCF is the only festival in the world which attempts to show this diversity and the victory of the Jewish culture over the civilization of death. Like Israel, the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival also had gone the long way from shtetl – to Zion!
The anniversary of the Israel’s proclamation is also the occasion to bring back films to the Festival. In the JCF Tent and in the undergrounds of the High Synagogue we will present 6 films from The Hebrews series, an unparalleled collection directed by Yair Qedar containing documentaries showing the most important persons for Israel, including Amos Oz, Abraham Sutzkever, Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, Zelda and others.
More anniversaries to celebrate!
45 years ago – a young vocalist from Greece – Grazia, made her debut record in an Israeli record company. No one then expected that this record would become the beginning of the most important trend in contemporary Israeli music– psychodelia. Nobody also expected that the contemporary world was not ready for such a young and revolutionary vocalist. Her debut marked also the end of her career. The tribute to this vocalist at the JCF is paid by Krakow’s band, MLDVA and Petra Nachtmanowa. They will play for you the record which is the bestselling Israeli record ever.
25 years ago Krakow’s band Bester Quartet made their first record. The band, founded by an accordionist, Jarosław Bester, attempting to re-interpret the klezmer music became the only Polish band which cut its records in the iconic record company, Tzadik of John Zorn in New York. The JCF will be concluded with the jubilee concert of the Bester Quartet played in the Tempel synagogue.
20 years ago Israeli band BoomPam was founded – this is the band which combined Grazia psychodelia music with the musical diversity brought by immigrants to Israel. They created their own stye thanks to which they have been regarded as the leading band of the Israeli music stage. They collaborated with the most distinguished Israeli musicians active in many fields, gave many concerts at the JCF in Krakow. We are glad to know that they have chosen us for the celebration of their jubilee, together with their friends: Neta Elkayam, Kutiman and Shai Tsabari! This will be the main element of this year’s concert Shalom at Szeroka street, yet, apart from them some other Jewish musicians from the entire world will perform.
After three years’ break the iconic Shalom at Szeroka concert is back!
Three years of pandemic made it impossible for us to organize this concert, which, since its first edition in 1991 has earned to become our flagship. Several thousand participants each year, 7 hours of Jewish music played nonstop, great atmosphere of friendship and brotherhood, and also the unique climate of Krakow’s Kazimierz, inspired The New York Times to name this concert the Jewish Woodstock. Partners of the Shalom at Szeroka: PZU Foundation, LOT Polish Airlines, the Museum of Krakow, Polish Television.
The JCF Tent – the heart of the Festival
Since 2019 the Festrival Tent, placed at the crossing of Józefa and Wąska streets has been the place where the majority of the JCF events are held. Also this year, it will house the lectures, workshops and radio broadcasts will be organized there, and also Cheder 2.0 will be active in the Tent.
The main motif of the 32nd JCF – the air – will be present in the lectures of Janusz Makuch, rabbi Boaz Pash and Ediwn Seroussi; in the reading Torah workshops with Marlena Fuerstman, artistic workshops with Monika Krajewska, Beata Miligan and Agnieszka Kolanowska.
The second motif of the 32nd JCF is the 75th anniversary of Israel’s statehood, so the Ambassador of Israel, Mr Yacov Livne, Yossi Klein-Halevi, Matti Friedman and Konstanty Gebert will talk about the history and presence of Israel.
The literary program will feature three meetings this year: with Ishbel Szatrawska, Jacek Tacik, Zuzanna Hertzberg and Patrycja Dołowy.
Also the Klezmer workshops return to the Festival (with Frank London and Michael Winograd) and also culinary workshops – this time each of the five workshops carried out by Bartek Kieżun (i.e. the Krakow Pasta Chef) will be completed with feasting of all the workshops participants together. For the first time, you will also have a chance to participate in the workshops of the movement with the Gaga method – Natalia Iwaniec will teach you the language of movement, created by an Isreali, Ohad Naharin.
Likewise in the two previous years, together with the Curatorial Collective for Public Art from Berlin, we are organizing a site-specific project – this time it will be titled Lehavdil, and was inspired by the Jewish ceremony that ends Shabbat – Havdala. This ceremony, full of symbols and meanings, which separates the holy times from everyday times, was reinterpreted by Shelley Etkin, Florence To and Wojtek Blecharz.
The whole program of the 32nd JCF, together with the description of specific events, is available here – it presents the evets from the main program and also the and accompanying program, organized by our partners.
The 32nd JCF in numbers
The main program of the Festival features 111 events, including:
– 24 music events
– 15 lectures and meetings
– 18 workshops
– 13 guided tours
– 15 film screenings
– 23 visual arts events
– 2 ceremonies
– 1 radio broadcast
Additionally, the program will feature about 60 accompanying events.
We have invited 121 artists from Poland, Israel, the United States, Canada, Germany, Iran, Turkey and Japan, whilst, in the preparation and execution of the 32nd JCF, we will be assisted by an international and multigenerational group of 55 volunteers.
The 32nd JCF is held under the honorary patronage of the President of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda and is co-financed from the resources of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, from the Culture Promotion Fund, which is a state special fund, a part of the Music program, carried out by the National Institute of Music and Dance.
MAŁOPOLSKA REGION IS A PARTNER OF THE 32nd JEWISH CULTURE FESTIVAL
For many years now, the Jewish Culture Festival has been promoting the region of Małopolska – with this year being no exception. The JCF has been invited to a new project, “Małopolska Showpieces”, together with other events which promote the region and strengthen the sense of the local identity among its residents, building a strong brand of “Małopolska.”
All these events will show the cultural abundance of the Małopolska region with its diversity and respect for tradition which they forge into a modern stye of life. The Jewish Culture Festival shows the Jewish culture which for many years had a great influence on the life in our region. It was here that the great Hassidic dynasties came into being and the Jewish reformers were active – together with their Polish neighbors, they were building what we call now our Małopolska cultural heritage. read more