ŠTETL FEST is a multi-genre festival that gives a glimpse into Jewish culture and history under the subheading "Dignity in Diversity".
The programme, consisting of lectures, concerts, theatrical shows and appearances by personalities of Judaism and stars of Jewish culture, aims to contribute to the understanding and openness of the Jewish community not only in Central Europe. It is arranged in a comprehensible and attractive way for the broadest public, opening up opportunities for dialogue for all, regardless of religion, gender or race, and thus leading to tolerance and sensitivity to different ways and opinions.
The festival is based on the foundations of Brno's Jewish history, from which grows a colourful, vibrant and no less interesting layer of contemporary Brno. It is the largest festival of Jewish culture in the Czech Republic. Not only in its scope, but also in its content and international participation.
The main theme of ŠTETL FEST 2022 is related to the project "The Library of Stolen Hopes", which is currently being developed by the Jewish Community of Brno. It is about the rescue of a unique collection of twelve thousand liturgical books confiscated in Theresienstadt and other concentration camps. The aim of the project is to return the books, based on personal notes, to the descendants of the original owners who did not survive the Holocaust.
How are the stories of our ancestors reflected in our lives? How is Brno's Jewish history reflected in contemporary Brno? Who of us all have a Jewish family history? How do we cope with it? Who are the Jews today? The festival will answer all these questions.
The festival is not trying to repeatedly commemorate the Holocaust, but to talk about hope and the future. The festival wants to show that Jewish culture, community, family and youth keep living, although everyone has to face their family history in some way.
The festival wants to show that the Jewish minority is an enriching, culturally interesting and inspiring element of the whole society.
The ŠTETL FEST festival is held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, the Ambassador of the State of Israel, the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Mayor of the Statutory City of Brno, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, the Governor of the South Moravian Region and the Rector of Masaryk University.