Over 95% of JCC Krakow’s operating budget is raised overseas from individuals, families, synagogues, foundations, and Jewish Federations. JCC Krakow’s success depends on support from around the world. The entire Krakow Jewish community is grateful for your support!
Support from Ride For The Living participants, as well as their friends and family, is key to ensuring that JCC Krakow is able to continue serving as an institution of Jewish culture and learning for hundreds of local Jewish members, thousands of tourists, and the broader Krakow community.
In just 11 years of its existence, the center has transformed the narrative about Jewish Poland. A story once thought to have ended with the Holocaust, now continues on with the rebirth of a thriving, modern Polish Jewish community. A thousand years of dialogue between Jewish and non-Jewish Poles, abruptly cut off by the Holocaust and 50 years of communism, takes place once more today within the walls of the JCC.
Our programming focuses on building and strengthening Jewish life in Krakow through social, educational, and religious events. We reach all generations and these are just some of the groups who will benefit from your Ride:
JCC Krakow's Senior Club is open six days a week for members, including 60 Holocaust survivors, to meet, share a meal or a cup of coffee, and participate in a full schedule of programs. Activities include Senior University and classes on topics such as English, mind training, technology, yoga, rehabilitation, sewing, cooking, and singing, as well as intergenerational collaborations.
“The JCC has become the focus of my life. I eat meals here. Learn skills here. Meet with my friends here. And simply feel at home. I can't tell you how important this place is to me and other people like me. Thank G-d we have this center.” – Zosia, Holocaust Survivor
The inaugural Ride For The Living made an impact beyond the participants’ meaningful experience. Funds raised in 2014 supported a week-long trip to Israel for child survivors of the Holocaust in March 2015. For some, it was their first time in Israel and for most, their only opportunity to travel abroad with fellow community members.
FRAJDA Early Childhood Center
The JCC's youngest members learn and play at FRAJDA, our new full-time pluralistic Jewish preschool. FRAJDA is the first such institution to open in Krakow in over half a century. The preschool's name, meaning "joy" in both Yiddish and Polish, reflects the centuries of close relations between Jews and Poles upon which we build at JCC Krakow.
“We first joined JCC Krakow because of our daughter Sara. Growing up, we had no Jewish community to connect to. That is why it is very important that our daughters receive a Jewish education, understand their tradition, learn Hebrew, and have contact with other Jewish children. We feel blessed to have FRAJDA and the teachers who care for our children. When Sara spends time in a bigger group of kids, we see that she learns faster and makes better progress.” - Michal, FRAJDA Early Childhood Center Parent
Ten years ago, most young Krakowian Jews knew few, if any, others who shared their religious and cultural background. A fledgling Jewish student club emerged at the JCC to support young adults in Krakow, who often discover their Jewish roots only in their teens and twenties and did not know where to turn. Today, that student club is part of Hillel International, offering 50+ students opportunities to connect with like-minded peers from around the world.
“I have been a part of JCC Krakow from the very beginning, and I feel so lucky to be involved with a center so full of opportunities. I first came here for Sunday School, then became a madricha for Poland's Jewish summer camps, and then worked at the Sunday School. My friends and I created Hillel GIMEL Jewish student club. I have grown up at JCC Krakow, and I can't wait for my kids to grow up here too!” – Marcjanna, Hillel GIMEL Director
Shabbat Dinners & Jewish Holidays
In order to ensure Jewish continuity, JCC Krakow believes all generations must see a place for themselves within our community. The JCC emphasizes intergenerational activities with the knowledge that all community members can learn from one another as they forge Jewish identities.
Many of our members had never celebrated Shabbat or a Jewish holiday prior to the JCC's opening. Every week at the JCC, members enjoy a kosher Shabbat dinner alongside visitors from around the world. We also celebrate holidays together with meals in the sukkah, purim spiels, and communal seders.