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Galicia Jewish Museum

Galicia Jewish Museum

18 Dajwór St.

Opening hours
open daily 10.00 a.m.–6.00 p.m.
except 25th December and Yom Kippur

www.galiciajewishmuseum.org
The mission of the Galicia Jewish Museum is to commemorate not only victims of the Holocaust, but also the Jewish culture which existed in the past and still exists in the area of Polish Galicia. Through education, the museum tries to fight stereotypes and erroneous beliefs concerning the common Polish-Jewish history, and inspire at the same time discussions about the future.

The museum is located in Kazimierz – the former Jewish district – in the building of a former furniture factory, whose renovated interiors give the place a unique ambience. In the almost 1000 sq.m. of its area, one can find four exhibition halls, a café, a bookshop, an education hall with a Multimedia Resource Centre, and offices.

Thanks to this, besides exhibitions, the museum can also house concerts, performances, lectures, seminars, and other cultural museums.

The heart of the museum contains a permanent exhibition of photographs: “Traces of Memory”. For 12 years, the British photographer Chris Schwarz and Professor Jonathan Webber (UNESCO Chair of Jewish and Interfaith Studies, University of Birmingham, UK) travelled around the villages and little towns of south Poland, documenting the still surviving remnants of Jewish life and culture. The results of those trips is the exhibition of photographs, which brings up the subject of Jewish heritage in Poland in a way both accessible and provocative, as well as giving food for thought.

Besides the permanent exhibition, over the last few years the museum has prepared and hosted a dozen or so other, temporary exhibitions, including “Hitler’s List” , “Polish Heroes: Those Who Saved Jews”, “Fight for Dignity: the Jewish Resistance Movement in Krakow”, “March 1968 in Krakow Press”, “Letters to Sala. The Life of a Young Woman in Nazi Labour Camps”, and others.

The Education and Research Department of the Galicia Jewish Museum runs one of the most extensive education programmes on the Jewish subject in the whole of Poland, addressed both to foreign visitors and groups of schoolage youth from Poland. The experienced employees of the Department develop and implement programmes for groups of visitors. Educational programmes include visiting exhibitions, “question and answer” sessions, museum lessons, workshops or lectures on subjects related to Jewish culture and the Holocaust, meetings with survivors of the Shoah and with the Righteous Among the Nations. The museum also offers rides on a historical tram around Jewish Krakow, trips along the route of little Jewish towns (“shtetl”), sightseeing in Krakow and Kazimierz, and trips to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

The museum pursues publishing and research activities as well. Besides the exhibition catalogues, the museum has published the first precise map of the Krakow Ghetto, and the first map of contemporary places related to Jewish life in Kazimierz. The museum has also prepared educational materials addressed specially at Polish schools – first of all, a unique multimedia programme on a DVD on the history of Jews and the Holocaust, intended for Polish high schools. The museum team also prepares additional educational aids, including charts presenting the chronology of the Shoah.

The Multimedia Resource Centre, located in the Education Hall, contains a constantly growing collection of films on the history of Jews and the Holocaust, part of which are reports collected by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. The Education Hall may be hired for private use. The museum also operates as a centre caring for the local Righteous Among the Nations by organising regular meetings, compiling documentation and supporting the local organisation. Recently, the museum has contributed to establishing a healthcare fund for the Righteous who need medical care.

The Galicia Museum offers an interesting programme of cultural events, and proposes special highlights for groups of visitors: Yiddish and Hebrew classes, a buffet with dishes of Jewish or Polish cuisine, film shows, Jewish dance workshops, conferences, receptions, and book promotions. The museum is becoming better and better known and valued in the world as a local centre of Jewish art, with regular musical and artistic events open to the general public. The museum has also become a forum of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. Each month, it publishes an electronic newsletter with a detailed list of events related to Jewish culture throughout southern Poland, which is an exceptional source of information about contemporary Jewish life and cultural events in the Małopolska (Little Poland) region.

The museum enjoys growing popularity and renown throughout the world and cooperates with a multitude of institutions and organizations: Auschwitz–Birkenau State Museum, the Jewish Centre in Oświęcim, European Day of Jewish Culture, World Day for Darfur, the Institute of Polish–Jewish Studies in Oxford, the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, the Holocaust Centre and Aegis Trust in the UK, USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education in California, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Galicia Jewish Museum maintains close cooperation with the British Embassy, the Embassy of Israel and with the Embassy and Consulate of the United States. All those institutions provide support for numerous projects carried out by the museum. The Galicia Jewish Museum is also a preferred location for Krakow ceremonies of granting the medals of the “Righteous Among the Nations”, organized by the Embassy of Israel. The museum has been chosen by the Ministry of National Education as one of the institutions coordinating the Polish-Israeli exchange of youth in the area of Poland.

What is more, the Galicia Jewish Museum has been nominated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute – an institution responsible for promoting Polish culture abroad – as the entity dealing with the presentation of the culture of Polish Jews during the Polish Year in the UK in 2009–2010.
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  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013