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7@nite 2021. Night of the Synagogues.
Special Edition.
Krakow, Kazimierz, May 19th-23rd, 2021
 

Are you looking for an exciting way to spend your last Saturday night in May? Maybe you have been waiting for this event all spring and cannot wait to take part in this classic JCC Krakow event that allows you to see the historic synagogues?

 

In addition to these historic houses of worship located in Kazimierz, the district itself is full of Jewish and non-Jewish history. This year, we invite you to learn these stories and explore the quarter's rich history.

During 7@Nite - Evening Strolls Through Kazimierz, on May 28, 2022, you have the opportunity to learn the history of Kazimierz step-by-step through our walking tour of the quarter. We will meet in the JCC garden to end the Shabbat together with the Havdalah, and then we invite you all to take a walk through the streets of Kazimierz and learn more about the district that the JCC calls home!
 

The tours will be lead by licensed Krakow tour guides: Dominika Zębala, Valentina Orel, Wojciech Huk.

Start: JCC Krakow Miodowa 24

22:15 - JCC Krakow Garden - Havdalah to mark the end of Shabbat
22:30 - 24:00 - Tours in 3 lang: PL, ENG, UA

Space is limited: 25 people per group
Sign up at: zapisy@jcckrakow.org until May 27
This is a free event.

Tours will be offered in Polish, English, Ukrainian.

 
 

OLD SYNAGOGUE (STARA SYNAGOGA)

 

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.

Illustration of the Old Synagogue

REMUH SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA REMU)

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.

Illustration of the gate to the Remuh Synagogue

HIGH SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA WYSOKA​)

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.

Illustration of the High Synagogue

THE POPPER SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA POPPERA)​

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.

Illustration of the gate to the Popper Synagogue

THE ISAAC SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA IZAAKA)

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.

Illustration of the Isaac Synagogue

KUPA SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA KUPA​)

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.

Illustration of the Kupa Synagogue

TEMPEL SYNAGOGUE (SYNAGOGA TEMPEL)

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.

Illustration of the Tempel Synagogue

These materials were created by JCC Krakow’s team based on the appropriate bibliography.


Graphic design: Justyna Janikowska-Radosz

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Map of the Kazimierz district with the Synagogues.
 

This event is organized by:

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.

JCC Krakow logo

Partners for this year's edition of 7@nite: The Night of Synagogues:

The Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow - 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 - 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 - 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.

Logo Instytutu Judaistyki Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w Krakowie

The Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Logo Muzeum Krakowa

The Museum of Krakow

logo ​Muzeum Etnograficznego im. Seweryna Udzieli w Krakowie

The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, an Institution of the Małopolskie Voivodeship