New life in Krakow's Jewish quarter
The Galeria Szalom in the heart of Kazimierz is a colourful contemporary art gallery promoting the work of local artists. Around the corner is the Olive Tree, an authentic kosher restaurant with a modern, upmarket ambience. Unlike many of the tourist-focussed restaurants in Kazimierz that serve only classic Eastern European dishes, the Olive Tree’s owner (who recently came to Krakow from Israel), offers a menu dominated by contemporary Mediterranean cuisine such as lamb kebabs and hummus.
Visit Krakow today and you might be struck first by the crowds of tourists who come to explore Kazimierz’s past. They might be visiting the Old Synagogue, eating a kosher meal in a traditional cafe or taking in a tour of the Schindler’s List locations. But look around and you will see signs of a more modern Jewish Kazimierz. As Rabbi Segal points out, the new generation cannot recreate the world in which their parents or grandparents lived. They come with their own expectations of how they want a Jewish community to look and function, and through their determination are creating a new future out of Kazimierz’s tangled past.