On December 6 at Stanford University, Hillel (the foundation for Jewish campus life at colleges) reverberated with the beats of Polish DJs at its annual "Light It Up" Hanukkah party. Brought for the first time to California by the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków (which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next Summer), "From Poland with Beat" fosters cross-cultural musical exchanges and brings the experience of the Kraków Jewish Culture Festival to new communities. The first performance took place in Tel Aviv, and subsequent presentations were held at Hillel at Stanford and other venues in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Polish DJ collectives, Easy Cheesy and MLDV, mixed the best of Israeli, European, Turkish, and Arabic vintage music with the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s -- the golden era of the Polish music scene. Young Jews and Poles living in the Bay Area, part of the modern and growing Polish diaspora, crowded into Stanford University's Hillel and celebrated all night, joining line dances and eating traditional Polish and Jewish treats.
The event was sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the City of Kraków, in partnership with Hillel at Stanford, the San Francisco-Kraków Sister Cities Association (supported by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture), and Taube Philanthropies.
Tad Taube, Chairman of Taube Philanthropies, said: "This party epitomizes the dialogue we want to create between the sister cities of San Francisco and Kraków. We want the younger generation of Jews to see their connections to Poland, where 85% of North American Jews have their roots."
Said a Hillel student, “We have been waiting for such an event for a long time. Thank you for bringing this experience to us!” The Kraków Jewish Culture Festival, Hillel at Stanford, and Taube Philanthropies hope to make this party an annual event.