Most tourists visiting Southern Poland frequently seek out the remnants of Jewish life at the former camps of Plaszow and Auschwitz. However, one of Krakow's best kept secrets is the Galicia Jewish Museum, founded by British photojournalist Chris Schwarz in 2004. Housed in an old furniture factory, the Museum celebrates the renaissance of Jewish culture in Galicia.

The Museum’s arrival is in step with Poland’s rapid ascent as a prime target of foreign investment in Europe. With a highly educated workforce, the nation’s business capacities have developed at a sure and steady pace since it was accepted into the EEC. Poland is the largest of the new EU member states, with important labor resources, significant scientific and industrial potential, and a 38-million consumer market. According to one recent study, the country will become the manufacturing hub of Eastern Europe in the next decade and is set to join the Euro in 2008.

This economic blossoming is providing impetus to numerous cultural endeavors in many Polish cities. Krakow is no exception and has an important commercial history sustained by eminent groups of Jewish entrepreneurs, bankers, industrialists, and merchants since the 12th century.

Their legacy is evident in the Galicia Jewish Museum whose mission is to commemorate Polish Jewry from a completely new perspective, other than the Holocaust. The Museum also provides a forum for multi-cultural dialogue and for the dissemination of exhibitions and publications to audiences, both Jewish and non-Jewish, around the world.
The Galicia Jewish Museum’s address is: 18, Dajwor Street, Krakow 31-052, POLAND.
Link: www.galiciajewishmuseum.org

Posted by Anna Ray-Jones, VP, Donley Communications Corp. Anna is also a published author and writes frequently on arts and culture.