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Establishment

The year was 1965 exactly 20 years after the liberation of only a remnant of Holocaust survivors from Cracow, Poland when a courageous group of 13 men met privately to discuss the possibility of creating a social group, a fraternity of kind, that would meet occasionally for the purpose of socializing, reminiscing, and moral support. These people had the foresight, wisdom, and awareness of the great need for such an organization. 

The first founders meeting took place at Steven Morrow's home on February 7th, 1965.  This date is considered the day of birth for the New Cracow Friendship Society.  The many weeks of planning that followed resulted in the first meeting of “Jews from Cracow” on March 14, 1965 at the Jewish Center of Kew Garden Hills in Flushing, Queens, USA.

The first gathering of the enthusiastic multitude of more than 700 Holocaust survivors from Krakow was a tremendous success.  Their happiness and tears were ultimate proof that the time for the realization of such an organization was right. As the enrollment of membership began, the new Cracow friends became a reality and the group of 13 became known as the Founders.  At a subsequent meeting on May 2, 1965 the assembled gave the Founders a mandate to run the organization that was dubbed “The New Cracow Friendship Society, Inc.” for one year.

The governing body of the Society consists of two chambers: The Executive Board (six members): President, two Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Secretary, and Comptroller, and the Board of Directors comprises twelve members. Elections are held every two years.

The combined Board meets six times a year. The Board meetings are chaired by the two Vice Presidents in rotation, and are guided by Robert's Rule of Order. The function of running the organization is facilitated by various committees headed by a chairman.  Four General Membership Meetings a year are mandatory.

The Society publishes a very informative bimonthly newsletter that provides information of organizational activities and carries articles ranging from commentary on Jewish holidays and Jewish customs, information on developments in the world of Holocaust survivors, book reviews, letters to the Editor, congratulatory messages on member’s achievements, to listings of contributions and much more. 

This website provides an up to date calender of event plus information about the society, membership information, photographes and more.  Visit us as well on social media sites.

Finally, this organization is sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate among us whether in the U.S., the city of Krakow or in Israel.

History

Cracow (in Yiddish CRUKE), a city in South Poland was the residence of the leading Polish Princes during the 12th Century, and later became the capital of Poland (until 1609). For many centuries it was the home of one of the most important European Jewish communities. In 1335 King Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki) founded the city of Kazimierz near the southern end of Cracow where Jews settled in large numbers. His benevolence towards the Jews supposedly was based on his love for a Jewish girl Esther, who - according to the same legend - lived at 46 Ulica Krakowska in Krakow. Although Kazimierz was originally a separate and independent city, it later became incorporated into Krakow. The original area of Kazimierz, however, remained a Jewish district and was even called the Judenstadt. Although Jews were compelled to live there, Kazimierz was not really a ghetto. (The actual Jewish ghetto was established much later - during World War II - in Podgorze, a southern suburb of Krakow on the other side of the Vistula river.)  A synagogue, a bathhouse (mikvah) and cemetery are first recorded in the 1350's. During the centuries Jews in Cracow experienced persecution and riots, but at other times also benevolence and acceptance. 

The Jewish population of Cracow through the 1900's was:

Year           Jewish Population        Total Population             % Jews

1900                25,670                            93,310                     28%

1910                32,321                            43,000                     21%  

1921                45,229                            64,000                      7%      

1931                56,800                          219,000                     26%   

1938                60,000                          237,000                    25%     

1948                 5,900                           299,000                     2%       

1955                 4,000                           335,000                      1%         

                                       _________________
2008                O
pening of a JCC in Krakow.

2014                JCC Krakow Ride for Living Established

2016                  8,000                          750,000                       1%  


The Jagiellonian University in Krakow has established a Jewish Studies Program.  

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updated 12/28/17    SHS   ncfs.org@gmail.com     www.newcracowfriendshipsoc.org
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