Krakow, Kazimierz, May 19th-23rd, 2021
We would like to invite you to the 11th edition of a very special event - 7@nite: Night of the Synagogues, the stars of which will be Krakow’s synagogues. We want to present to you the heart of Krakow’s Kazimierz district and to inspire you to visit each of the seven synagogues on your own, at a time that is most convenient to you, while still respecting the pandemic safety regulations.
This year’s event, which for years has been drawing hundreds of tourists and citizens to the synagogues and JCC Krakow, will be conducted in a new, hybrid way: partially on-site and partially online. This is possible thanks to our partners: the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, The Museum of Krakow – the Old Synagogue branch, and the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. Together we’ve organized three events for you:
We will begin on May 19th at 6pm with an online meeting open to anyone who’s interested in participating. Regardless of where you are, at home, in a park, or in a tram, you can join this meeting. The invited educators and experts will speak about the phenomenon of Krakow’s synagogues. This meeting will take place on the main 7@nite Facebook page, JCC Krakow’s FB page, and on Facebook profiles of our partners. During the meeting you will meet and speak with Dr. Ewa Węgrzyn (Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow), Piotr Figiela (Historical Museum of Krakow – Old Synagogue branch), and Urszula Sobczyk (Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow). The meeting will be led by Karolina Koprowska (Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow). To find out more about this event, click here.
If you’d like to participate in a late night walk through the streets of the historical Jewish district of Krakow on May 22nd, you’ll need to go to two addresses in Kazimierz: 24 Miodowa St. and the junction of Izaaka St. and Kupa St., next to the Isaac Synagogue. Starting at 9:45pm, you will be able to view a multimedia show which will be screened on the walls of JCC Krakow and JCC West, the site of the Hillel Gimel Jewish Student Club. The JCC Krakow team, with the support of the experts from the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University, have created something very special. We don’t want to tell you too much so as not to ruin the surprise… you’ll just have to trust us! We would like to thank Dr. Anna Jakimiszyn-Gadocha, Dr. Edyta Gawron, Dr. Monika Stępień, Dr. Alicja Maślak-Maciejewska, Prof. Leszek Hońdo, and Dr. Marek Tuszewicki from the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow for their help in creating the presentation. To find out more about this event, click here.
After the night walk we would like to invite all of those who love city games and Krakow’s synagogues to spend the afternoon of Sunday, May 23rd, with us. JCC Krakow, in cooperation with the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, has created a special game just for you. Join us on a 2-hour adventure through the streets of Kazimierz, and get to know it inside and out. We have 50 sets of self-service city game cards that were created by the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. In order to play this game and learn the trivia about Kazimierz and Krakow’s synagogues, all you need to do is:
For more information on this event, click here. For more information about the game “The Ins and Outs of Kazimierz,” go to etnomuzeum.eu. Come and join all of the fantastic events for this year’s edition of 7@nite! Next year we’re hoping to have all the normal concerts, exhibitions, workshops, meetings, and screenings inside the Krakow’s synagogues. We’ll see you then!
The Old Synagogue’s creation dates back to the end of the 15th century, which makes it the oldest synagogue in Krakow. The Gothic-Renaissance style architecture, with a rib vault, has two naves and a courtyard that was once used for wedding ceremonies. Before adding a women's room and a women's balcony in the 16th century, the synagogue was only open to men. Until 1939 it was the most important place Jews gathered in Kazimierz and Kraków, performing both religious and administrative functions. The synagogue survived numerous fires and, thanks to the support of donors, has been restored several times. Since 1961, it has functioned as a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków, today The Museum of Kraków, presenting the history of Krakowian Jews. It is located at the end of Szeroka Street.
The Remuh Synagogue was established in 1553 as a private synagogue for the family and friends of its founder, Israel Issert ben Josef. It was rebuilt many times, but many original elements have been preserved such as the bimah, the Aron Kodesh, and the treasury. In 1829, thanks to Antoni Pluszczyński, a room for women was created, the stone vault was replaced with a wooden one, and a room for men was added on the first floor. To this day, the synagogue serves as a house of prayer. Every year, during the festival of Lag ba-Omer, the synagogue hosts ceremonies commemorating the death of the meritorious Rabbi of the Krakow Community, Moses ben Israel Isserles. It is located on Szeroka Street next to the Old Jewish Cemetery.
The High Synagogue owes its name to its location on the second floor of a building whose ground floor served as a commercial space. The synagogue was built in 1556-1563 by a wealthy Jewish merchant named Israel, with the consent of King Sigismund II Augustus. It was intended to be used exclusively by men until the second half of the 17th century, when a women's annex was added. The synagogue stood out among others thanks to its rich furnishings, such as the Renaissance Aron Kodesh in the prayer room. Devastated during World War II, it was again authorized for use only at the end of the 20th century. The synagogue is located on Józefa Street.
The Popper Synagogue was established as a synagogue for men in 1620. It is small, built of brick, has a modest courtyard, and the building is decorated with modern paintings. It was funded by a wealthy merchant and banker, Benjamin Wolf (often called Popper). He equipped the interior of the synagogue so that it was the richest of all Krakow synagogues. After the Swedish invasion, Popper's heirs were very impoverished, which resulted in the deteriorating condition of the synagogue. At the beginning of the 19th century, the synagogue was renovated and expanded, and a hall for women was added. The synagogue, also called the Stork Synagogue or Small Synagogue, currently houses a bookstore, no equipment has survived. It is located between Szeroka and Dajwór Streets.
Erected in the years 1638-1644 on the initiative of Isaac Jakubowicz and with the permission of King Władysław IV Waza, The Isaac Synagogue was the pride of Kazimierz and its rich equipment and furnishings rivaled those of the Wysoka and Popper synagogues. But this magnificent early Baroque building with numerous polychromes and a richly decorated vault wouldn't enjoy its times of splendor for very long. During the Swedish invasion, the synagogue was completely robbed, and shortly afterwards, partly burned. Renovated in 1857, in later years it served as a sculpting and conservation workshop for organs. It was not until 1994-1995 that significant renovations were carried out through the Krakow Monuments Protection Fund. Today, the synagogue serves both religious and museum purposes. It is located on the corner of Isaac and Kupa Streets.
The Kupa Synagogue was probably founded in 1643 for the poorest members of the Jewish community, adjacent to the Jewish hospital, which is why it is also called the Hospital Synagogue or the Synagogue of the Poor. The interior of the Baroque building is decorated with numerous polychromes from the times of the Second Polish Republic, as well as paintings and a stone Aron-Kodesh, all preserved from the original equipment. The synagogue was directly adjacent to the defensive city walls of Kazimierz, a fragment of which has survived to this day. In the XVIII century, when the walls lost their function, a gallery for women was added. The synagogue was devastated during World War II and was renovated in 2000-2001 by the Jewish community. It currently performs prayer functions and is adjacent to the seat of the Jewish Religious Congregation in Krakow. It is located between Miodowa and Jonathan Warszauer streets.
The youngest of Krakow's synagogues, the Tempel Synagogue was built in the second half of the 19th century. The synagogue, which has been extended many times, combines many styles, including Byzantine, Neo-Roman, and Neo-Renaissance, and its interior is decorated with Moorish paintings and a rich collection of stained glass. It is also called the Progressive Synagogue because of the activity of the progressive Jewish community supporting the Haskalah. During World War II, the synagogue served as a warehouse, but religious services were once again held in the building in 1945. In the years 2000-2005 it underwent major renovations to become not only a house of prayer, but also a gathering place for celebrations and ceremonies related to Jewish culture. It is located at the intersection of Miodowa and Podbrzezia streets.
These materials were created by JCC Krakow’s team based on the appropriate bibliography.
Graphic design: Justyna Janikowska-Radosz
JCC Krakow — The Jewish Community Centre of Krakow was opened in 2008 by HRH The Prince of Wales and now serves as the focal point for the resurgence of Jewish life in Krakow, which has dramatically increased since Poland’s transition to a democracy in 1989. JCC Krakow works to change both the world’s perception of Poland and Poland’s perception of Jews. The JCC provides social, educational, and community-oriented services to the Jewish community of Krakow, offers programming open to the entire Krakow community to foster Polish-Jewish relations, supports over 50 Holocaust survivors through direct welfare assistance, and acts as a visitor center for hundreds of thousands of tourists, many of them Jewish, who pass through Krakow annually.
Jewish Community Centre
The Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow - is one of the most important centers of Jewish Studies in Poland and Europe. For over thirty years it has been conducting research on the history and culture of Polish Jews, and Polish-Jewish relations. The Institute is educating over 120 students and PhD students, organizes open lectures, and puts on programs for the Uniwersytet Trzeciego Wieku (Senior University).
The Museum of Krakow - is one of the oldest museums in Poland. It consists of 19 distinct branches. A few of them, such as the Town Hall Tower, the Barbican, the City Walls, and the Old Synagogue, are located inside some of the most precious historical monuments in Krakow. A portion of the Museum’s work is cultivating Krakow’s traditions and customs, like the contest of the Krakow Szopka, the Lajkonik Festival, or a contest for the most beautiful Emaus Tree.
The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, an Institution of the Małopolskie Voivodeship - was created out of respect and interest in different cultures: folk culture, European cultures, and cultures from outside of Europe. It is the oldest and largest ethnographic collection in Poland. Its creation in 1911 was made possible thanks to the struggle of Seweryn Udziela, a teacher, an amateur ethnographist, and a collector. He believed an ethnographic museum is a workshop for learning, where you sit and study the history and the present of various cultures and nations. Today, over 100 years since its establishment, the museum follows Udziela’s original idea: it documents and interprets various ways of life. Through exhibitions, publications, workshops, and research, it creates a space for conversation to understand the present, think about the future, and discover the past.
Instytut Judaistyki Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Muzeum Etnograficzne im. Seweryna Udzieli w Krakowie Instytucja Kultury Województwa Małopolskiego
Jewish Community Centre, Miodowa 24 St., 31-055 Kraków
Phone: +48 12 370 57 75 or +48 888 294 746