Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw- what is there to see?
Revival of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw can be observed since the beginning of the transformation in 1989. After the painful events of World War II and the years of negligence during the communism time, finally the Jewish communities are again becoming a part of city life.
The White Stork Synagogue
The beating heart of the Jewish culture and community in Wroclaw is around the White Stork Synagogue, on Włodkowica street. Synagogue is situated in the city center, in the Quarter of Four Temples. It is the place of religious worship and cultural events. Thanks to the efforts of Jewish Community and Foundation Bente Kahan synagogue was rebuilt after the years of neglect and destruction. The effects of that process can be seen in the film below.
In 2005 the Center of Jewish Culture and Education was established. First of all it significantly impacted the cultural life of the community and the city as well. There are a lot of cultural events, concerts, workshops open to general public. Simcha- Festival of the Jewish Culture is one of the most important events organised by the community. Synagogue welcomes visitors and tours are free of charge, in addition it also offers guided tours of old Jewish Wroclaw
Senior Club and Jewish Primary School are among the institution working for the community. For those interested in the Jewish cuisine, there is CIŻ Cafe nearby, where you can try amazing coffee and especially tasty kosher food. There is also a Kosher Canteen, serving traditional Polish and Jewish kosher food. Between 12 and 13.30 Monday to Friday there is a possibility to eat two course meal for around 15 PLN.
- ul. Włodkowica 7
- Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 10-17; Fri: 10 – 16; Sat: closed; Sun: 11 -16
- Tickets: Free admission
There are two Jewish cemeteries in Wroclaw, the Old and the New one.
Old Jewish Cemetery (Museum of Cemetery Art) on Ślężna Street, is the part of the City Museum Of Wroclaw. Place is yet the only graveside from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, preserved in Wroclaw. Cemetery is also a beautiful testament of the strength of the pre- war Wroclaw’s (Breslau) Jewish community. The place is a unique and original composition of the grave sculptures and small architecture, influenced by the middle ages, art nouveau, modernism and religious symbols. There are 12 thousand tombstones located in the museum, some of the famous people. Most noteworthy names are Ferdinand Lassalle, Ferdinand Cohn, wife of Fritz Haber or parents of Edith Stein. The cemetery is a beautiful place for a walk, especially thanks to the greenery surrounding the tombstones.
- ul. Ślężna 37/39
- Opening hours: Mon- Sun: 10-18;
- Tickets: 7- 20 PLN
The New Cemetery is on Lotnicza street and the Jewish Community in Wroclaw takes care about it. Established in 1902 to fulfill the needs of the growing community, the place is not so new as the name would suggest. Paul Erlich, a rather famous architect from Breslau, designed the cemetery. Most of the cemetery undergoes the restoration at the moment, as large parts of it are a safety hazard. Therefore the state of the cemetery today is a chilling reminder of what the Jewish community had once been before the time of persecution by Nazi and then years of neglect in PRL. Nevertheless the visitors can still enjoy the beauty of this place.
- ul. Lotnicza 52
- Opening hours: Wed: 14 – 17; Sun: 9 – 13;
- Tickets: 8 PLN
Although small in numbers, Jewish community plays significant role in the city spectrum. Getting to know history and culture of Jewish community, makes it consequently easier to learn and understand the city’s history and culture. So enjoy!