For one night a year, Krakow’s seven remaining synagogues open themselves up to the public and host everything from a poetry reading to a symbolic multimedia walk through the seven gates of Jerusalem, from a photography exhibition to an Israeli-inspired hummus and grilled vegetable feast in a synagogue courtyard - The7@Nite Festival.
About 7,000 people attend the festival each year. JDC is the event’s main sponsor, operating in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center of Krakow and Gmina Wyznaniowa Zydowska w Krakowie, a community of about 100 members that operates three of the city’s synagogues. 7@Nite is one of a myriad of JDC’s “Judaism without walls” experiences—open-to-all events staged in public spaces such as parks, museums, and coffeehouses—that are helping Jews who may not identify with traditional institutions engage with Jewish culture. This year’s 7@Nite was held the weekend of June 8-9.
From the 7@nite website:
"Each year, over 7000 people take part in the 7@nite project. Our goal is to show contemporary Jewish life, which draws on the past while being modern, diverse and tolerant. During one night, we will open seven unique synagogues and present seven different programs. The theme of the night is Jerusalem – a city of many cultures and traditions. It is not simply a destination for pilgrims, but the capital of a modern country.
And beyond all that, it is a city which is ambiguous, divided, and hard to define. Everyone has their own story about this city. And each of those stories are real. Telling the story of Jerusalem, we are telling a “story” about modern Judaism in a modern language. We are bringing Judaism closer, breaking stereotypes and hopefully building understanding between different beliefs and cultures. The confusion that comes from engaging all the senses, at once, provides unique insight into the beauty and turmoil of passions that the lands, peoples, and faiths of contemporary Jerusalem and Krakow inspire."