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4. Lubliner Festival

by FKZLubliner

Substantive report

on the implementation of the task

4. Lubliner Festival – Jewish Culture Festival in Lublin

The 4. edition of the Lubliner Festival project – Jewish Culture Festival in Lublin- was carried out in accordance with the objectives and program set out in contract No. 336/KL/23 from July 26, 2023.
       The main festival events lasted from August 6th till 13th.
       The 4. edition began with the Remembrance Ceremony – a meeting between Festival representatives and the city and province authorities with the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Poland at the State Museum at Majdanek – the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. During the ceremony, tribute was paid to those murdered during the cruel time of the Holocaust. After the ceremony, a tour of the museum took place.
       Next on the agenda was the opening of a photo exhibition, “Jerusalem as the City of Culture”, which was co-organized with the Embassy of Israel in Poland. It was carried out by Israel’s Ambassador to Poland, YacovLivne, Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, Mayor of the City of Lublin, Krzysztof Żuk, Deputy Director of the National Center for Culture, Elżbieta Baron, and Director of the Festival, EtelSzyc.
       After the opening, we invited the participants to a meeting with the Chief Rabbi of Poland.
       The first artistic event of the Festival was the theatrical performance of “T. de Lempicka. Insatiable,” which gathered a large audience.
       August 6th ended with a concert by the Pendofksy band. The program entitled “Still Waters Run Deep or there was Jazz,” showcased the influence of Jewish composers, including AdiRosner, on Polish jazz music. The special guest of the concert was LalaCzaplicka.
       On Monday, August 7th, the participants had an opportunity to meet a cantor Symcha Keller who talked about the Seer of Lublin and his school.
       Later in the afternoon, there was a screening of the film “The Portraitist,” directed by Irek Dobrowolski, who was present with his wife Anna. They talked about the making of the film and the jointly written book “The Auschwitz Photographer.”
       The day ended with another film screening – of an Israeli film “Apples from the Desert.”
       The third day of the festival, Tuesday, August 8th, began with an invitation to the exhibition “My Jewish Parents, My Polish Parents”, made available thanks to a cooperation with the Association of ‘Children of the Holocaust’ in Poland. It dealt with the subject of the touching stories of Jewish children saved by Polish families. The event was honored by the presence of the creator of the exhibition, a Child of the Holocaust – Joanna “Inka” Sobolewska-Pyz, and Elżbieta “Bieta” Ficowska.
       The audience then had an opportunity to watch a short film “Teaspoon for Life” and participate in a talk about the Children of the Holocaust, hosted by CezaryHarasimowicz.
       In the evening, Olga AvigailMieleszczuk and the Tango Attack band played a concert “Polish Hebrew Songs” celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.
       Just like on Monday, the  last on the agenda was a film screening – shown was the “The Matchmaker.”
       From Wednesday, August 9th, two cycles appeared in the program – sightseeing and workshops. On Wednesday, we invited children to cook Jewish dishes together. On August 10th, we continued our culinary meetings – this time we invited adults who cooked and tried Shabbat dishes.
       With seniors in mind, we once again organized a Tour of the Jewish Lublin in the Melex electric cars. The first group took place on Wednesday, next – on Thursday and Saturday.
       At 16.00 Israeli dance workshops began and continued on the next day, August 10th.
       On Wednesday afternoon, AgataTuszyńska talked about her books. Then, one could learn about the Jewish cuisine and its history during a presentation by Tamara Sztyma from the POLIN Museum.
       The musical highlight of the day was an excellent concert by the Bester Quartet group, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
       On August 10th, in addition to cyclical meetings, HankaKossowska told the audience about Angels in the Judaism.
       At the end of the day, we were taken on a cosmic musical journey during the “Cosmic Silence”, the concert performed by saxophonist, LeszekŻądło, and lyre player, Joachim Mencel.

       On Friday, August 11th, we scheduled a tour of the old Jewish cemetery. A second group of visitors was allowed access to the cemetery on Sunday.
       In the afternoon, yet another workshop took place. This time, the participants were tought elements of the Israeli martial art – KravMaga.
       Music and Movement Workshops for Children were also added as a new program point.
       Additionally, we met with a representative of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, who told us about Jewish life in post-war Poland.
       Friday ended with a grand artistic and social event, the Lubliner Shabbat. According to tradition, we, together with the participants, gathered before the sunset at the tables set in the parking lot in front of Yeshiva ChachmeiLublin. The participants had an opportunity to listen to Shabbat songs and stories about the customs and rituals. The event was hosted by the Director of the Festival, EtelSzyc, who was accompanied by singers – Monika Chrząstowska, Izabella Rzeszowska, HenrykRajfer, GenadyIskhakov, and musicians from the Teresa Wrońska Trio. At the end, just before the beginning of the Sabbath, Symcha Keller led the blessing prayer. Then the Jewish community went to the synagogue for a prayer – this part was closed to the audience.

       On Saturday afternoon, a group of participants had an opportunity to visit the exhibitions at the Grodzka Gate – NN Theater Center, under the supervision from the institution employee.
       Also, those interested in the history and secrets of the production of kosher alcohols met with a representative of the JakobHarberfeld Vodka and Liqueur Factory in Oświęcim.
       At 18.00 we invited the viewers to a screening of the film “Two Flags,” followed by a brief discussion.
       Saturday ended with a musical feast. First, an outstanding trumpet player, Frank London, and accordionist and singer, LorinSklamberg, who together co-founded the famous New York group The Klezmatics, played for the audience. The concert special guest was Joshua Nelson (USA) – the Prince of Kosher Gospel – an outstanding singer who combines the sound of gospel with Jewish music. They were accompanied by a musical group, Dobranotch, who continued playing after the concert, during the Festival’s after party, the Night Klezz Dance.

       On Sunday, the last day of the Festival, the participants could participate in three educational walks – the previously mentioned tour of the old Jewish cemetery, a guided tour of the State Museum at Majdanek, and a visit to Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin.
       The physical activity workshops once again took place on that day.
       In the afternoon, we invited the youngest audience to the world of Jewish fairy tales. The “Cat and Dog” performance attracted many children.
       The Festival ended with a concert “There is no greater love,” in honor of the Righteous Among the Nations and was part of the events accompanying the beatification of the Ulma Family. This musical tribute for those who were not afraid to save others was created by DarekMalejonek, joined on stage by vocalists Aleksandra Idkowska, KasiaMalejonek, Martyna and DagmaraMelosik, Natalia Niemen, AniaRusowicz, Symcha Keller, and Damian Ukeje.
       The main part of the 4. Lubliner Festival lasted 8 days and included 43 organized program points, attended by about 3,700 participant.

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