Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat jointly organized the first Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow in 1988. Started as modest, Gradually the Festival developed into an annual international event that is known around the world with Janusz Makuch it’s chairman. It usually takes place in late June and early July.
Nowadays, Festival is one of the largest of this kind cultural events in the whole world, presenting contemporary Jewish culture from Israel and the Diaspora. It takes 10 days, features more than 250 events, including concerts, workshops, exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, and theatrical productions. Festival attracts performers and an audience from both Americas, Europe and Israel. They come to Cracow Jewish district to participate in a series of cultural and educational events that stand in opposition to anti-Semitism, intolerance, and xenophobia. The Festival, however, looks into the future of Jewish culture, being true to the ancient history and tradition, asks the question about what Jewish culture will be like in the years to come.
In 2008 Janusz Makuch was awarded by Lech Kaczyński, President of the Republic of Poland with the highest Polish civil distinction – medal Polonia Restituta for his efforts to preserve the memory of Polish Jews. In the same year he received the first Irena Sendlerowa Award from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.
In addition Jewish Culture Festival was noticed as great artistic event of huge importance for the promotion of the Jewish culture and tolerance by foreign press, among other the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, La Stampa, Ha’Aretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Huffington Post, Maariv, The Guardian.