Jewish Kazimierz

Kazimierz, in Kraków, is a special place developed over many centuries as a Christian-Jewish neighbourhood. Jews arrived here in the mid-14th century, and until the early 19th century they lived in a separate “Jewish city”, enclosed by today’s Miodowa, św. Wawrzyńca, Wąska, Józefa, and Bożego Ciała streets. It was an autonomous enclave governed by internal Jewish authorities: their only sovereign was the king in whose name the Voivode of Kraków exercised authority over the enclave.

Jewish Kazimierz
Photo www.krakow.pl

At the close of the 19th and early in the 20th centuries, Jews gradually began to take over the whole of Kazimierz and the neighbouring Stradom district. Moreover, from the late 19th century onwards, Jews actively participated in the development of this section of the city as developers, builders, and architects. Their social and economic activity started in the 1860s after they were granted equal civil rights. This made the Jewish intelligentsia more enthusiastic about cultural assimilation and prompted decisions to move their homes outside Kazimierz.

Before the Second World War, Kraków’s Jewish population of 64,000 accounted for every fourth person in the city. By 1939 the minority had created and developed a social infrastructure capable of furthering their interests and aspirations. It was mostly built up in Kazimierz, which between the two world wars remained a predominantly Jewish district and a natural community resource for the majority of Jewish organisations and institutions. Political parties and factions of all hues were active there representing the Jewish people in the Polish parliament, while educational, charity, cultural, artistic, and sports organisations were active as well. Moreover, Kazimierz was a focus for the religious life of Kraków’s Jews. They prayed in six major Orthodox synagogues (Old Synagogue [Alte Shul], Remuh, High, Isaac, Popper, and Kupa), and in the progressive synagogue (Tempel). These were maintained by the Jewish community, yet there were also many houses of prayer which belonged to assorted religious associations and private individuals.

Today Kazimierz is one of the best known areas of Kraków. Teeming with cultural and artistic life, the district especially attracts those who want to feel the spirit of Kraków’s bohemians. The most popular cafés as well as established artistic studios and galleries cluster around Szeroka, Izaaka, Miodowa, Józefa and Podbrzezie streets, and around Nowy (Żydowski) square. It would, however, be hard to draft a complete list of pubs, cafés, and restaurants worth visiting as each of these has its unique character and decor, and in Kraków’s Kazimierz one counts them in dozens.

Name of the institution Category of institution
B’nai Emunah House of Prayer – Centre for Jewish Culture
ul.Meiselsa 17 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Cheder Iwri primary and Tachkemoni secondary school
ul.Miodowa 26 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Hebrew Schools
ul.Brzozowa 5 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
House of Prayer of Salomon Deiches
ul.Brzozowa 6 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
House of Prayer of the Psalm Fraternity
ul.Meiselsa 18 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Isaac Synagogue
ul.Kupa 16 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Jewish Academic House
ul.Przemyska 3 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Jewish Dormitory
ul. Przemyska 3 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Józefa Street
ul. Józefa Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Koba Itim l’Tora House of Prayer
ul.Józefa 42 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Kupa Synagogue
ul.Warszauera 8 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Nowy Square
Plac Nowy Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Okrąglak: the Round Market Hall
Plac Nowy Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Popper Synagogue
ul. Szeroka 16 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
School of Crafts
ul.Podbrzezie 3 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Sheirit B’nei Emunah House of Prayer
ul.Bocheńska 4 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Szeroka Street
ul. Szeroka Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
Talmud Torah
ul.Estery 6 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
The Building of the Kraków Jewish Community
ul.Krakowska 41 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
The High Synagogue
ul.Józefa 38 Kraków
Jewish Kazimierz Show map
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