This post can also be read on my Jewish Heritage Travel Blog
Readers of this blog know that each year since 2009 I have tried to put together a list of Jewish culture, music, film -- etc -- festivals that take place around Europe.
This year (so far) the list includes 40 or so, in more than a dozen countries.
My list is far from totally comprehensive -- I know I miss quite a few events. But I believe it is still probably the most complete list of such festivals Europe-wide.
Still, my list's incomplete-ness is borne out by a list of Jewish culture and other festivals in Poland, researched and complied by Agnieszka Gis, a young volunteer at the Krakow Jewish Community Center who this summer is working as an intern at the Taube Foundation in San Francisco.
Agnieszka's list includes more than 40 festivals, of all sorts. That's 40 Jewish culture, film, music and other such festivals in Poland alone -- a country whose Jewish community today numbers probably some 15,000 or so!
There are big festivals, such as the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow and the Singer's Warsaw festival in Warsaw. But many are in small towns and even far-flung villages where no Jews live today. Most are organized by non-Jews and directed at a non-Jewish audience, perfect examples of what I have I described as the "virtually Jewish" phenomenon, where the so-called "Jewish space" is often filled by non-Jews in places few or no Jews live.