31st JEWISH CULTURE FESTIVAL | WATER | press info

This year, Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow will be held between June 24th and July 3rd, 2022 in Krakow’s Jewish quarter – Kazimierz.

This will be the third edition of the festival, dedicated to elements. 29th edition was dedicated to the earth (2019), anniversary 30th edition in 2020 was dedicated to the fire preceeded by Prolog 30th JCF in 2020. This year the main point of reference for festival events will be water: its ritual and religious functions, symbolics and connotations, as well as very practical aspects, including climate change issues.

Festival Tent will be a very center of the festival already for the third time. It will be a venue for most of the festival events. From morning until late evening our audience will participate in lectures, discussions, live radio broadcasts, will listen to live DJ-sets or concerts – with no entrance fee. Lectures will have two major topics: the first one is water (lectures by Konstanty Gebert, Małgorzata Lebda, Ifor Duncan, rabbi Boaz Pash, Janusz Makuch, among others), and the oether one: anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism (Yosi Klein Halevi, Stanisław Krajewski, prof. Jan Hartman). The second theme is not only a consequence of growing hatred towards Jews and Israel in the world but is also based in a strong belief that the water of life (Hebr.: mayim hayim) has a power of purification and could help repairing the relations between the world and the Jews and Israel.

In the Festival Tent we will also host a series of Workshops for Seniors, interdisciplinary events organized by our volunteers for senior citizens of Krakow, as well as Literary Program (featuring authors like Anna Bikont, prof. Gotz Aly, Igor Jarek, Elżbieta Łapczyńska, Łukasz Barys, Olga Drenda) organized in cooperation with the Krakow Festival Office. Legendary Polish television personality and a great film critic and director – Stanisław Janicki, will present two Yiddish films produced in Poland before and after WWII.

Two series of events we prepared together with our new partner institutions from Italy and Germany. Living Under Water – series of presentations, publications and an exhibition are being prepared with Beit Venezia. A Home for Jewish Culture, whereas series of lectures, debates and workshops under the common title Future of Memory curated by Max Czollek were organized with Coalition for Pluralistic Public Discourse, and will discuss a role of memory and our past in our perception of nowadays and of the future. All above mentioned events will be held in English or simultaneously translated into English.

Following success of Kumzits – last year’s series of artistic interventions in Kazimierz, this year we invite you to a project called Maiseh – series of site-specific projects by international (Polish, Israeli and German) artists that are inspiried by legends and stories about Kazimierz, since the word ‘meiseh’ in Yiddish means: ‘a story’.

Music has become a sign of quality for the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. This year the main festival stage in the Tempel synagogue will host: Frank London and his recent project Ghetto Songs, featuring Sveta Kundish, well known in Krakow from last year’s first in Poland Female Cantors’ Concert; Jeremiah Lockwood, known from past appearances as a leader of The Sway Machinery will present Cantors’ Concert with leading cantors: Yaakov Lemmer, Shimi Miller, Yoel Kohn accompanied by Polish Airis String Quartet. On Friday evening, just before Shabbat, you will have a chance to participate in a memorable concert by Bester Quartet and Grażyna Auguścik, Dorota Miśkiewicz and Jorgos Skolias – under the title Get To Tango, featuring music by D. Bajgelman from Łódź. For the final night of the festival, we will invite you to special concert: performed by Liraz – Israeli singer and actress of Persian origin will present her recent album Roya – a tribute to all women, who were made silent because of social or religious restrictions, and cannot present their stories themselves. Israeli group Malox, formed by brothers Assaf and Eyal Talmudi together with Polish singer Maniucha Bikont will perform a series of concerts that will become their new live album. Beside these concerts, Alchemia club will host (after long pandemic break) famous festival’s Night Sessions – a really unpredictable, improvised musical trips in all possible directions.

Classics at Noon – series of classical music concerts held at noon on Sunday – will be presented twice at the 31st JCF. First concert will be performed by Ukrainian String Quartet in the Tempel Synagogue, the second one – by Jeremiah Lockwood and cantor Joel Kohn will present art of hazzanut in the Festival Tent. Speaking about Ukrainian elements in JCF’s program, we will also organize a special tour of Kazimierz in Ukrainian for the refugees’ families living now in Krakow; there will be also a workshop of Jewish songs from Ukraine by Ukrainian artist Sveta Kundish, as well as workshop of painting in the mezen technique – very popular in Ukraine.

More detailed calendar of events is available under this link.

Alltogether there will be more than 80 events in the main program of the festival. Many of them (concerts, lectures) will be streamed live on our special streaming platform 31.jewishfestival.pl and available there also after the end of the festival. Main program of the festival, organzied by the Jewish Culture Festival Society will be accompanied by a program prepared by our partners, including JCC Krakow and Galicia Jewish Museum.

All events in the Festival Tent will be free of charge. Tickets to the concerts are available at 31.jewishfestival.pl Tickets to the accompanying events will be available only at the organizers of the events.

Source: Jewish Culture Festival press room

More information available at official event website