Krakow --Cheder Cafe

There's an ever-growing number of venues in Krakow's old Jewish quarter Kazimierz where you can  eat, drink, hangout.... and they have expanded far beyond the Jewish-style cafes that first began appearing on Szeroka St. 18 years ago....Only a fraction of the venues are now "Jewish" or "Jewish-style." The Krakow Post highlights one of the latest in this grouping -- the Cheder cafe, an offshoot of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, which opened about three years ago in a former prayer room in the High Synagogue complex.
Conceived as something more than just a hangout with a Middle Eastern feel to it, Cheder (pronounced “headair”) also serves as a cultural and educational centre – perhaps no surprise given that this is an offshoot of the Jewish Culture Festival Association.

On entering the venue, guests are enveloped by a soothing ambiance - especially so for those who enjoy cosy, library-like surroundings. This comparison is not random – high wooden shelves with ornamental carvings in the shapes of Hebrew letters (which form a lion – symbol of Jerusalem and Jewish culture) are heavy with books, and guests are welcome to browse amongst them. Other Jewish ornaments are discreetly placed in such surprising spots as coat racks or a menora-shaped lamp embedded in the wall. This distinctive design, along with matching Oriental, yet kitsch-free music, made me want to linger a little longer.