Janusz Makuch is the founder and director of the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow.
Janusz organized the first Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow in 1988. It had enormous symbolic significance: it was devoted to a culture that had been sentenced to oblivion in communist Poland. Gradually, the Festival developed into an annual international event that is known around the world. It lasts 10 days and features more than 200 events that present contemporary culture created by the Jews in Israel and the entire Diaspora to an international audience of more than 30,000. In the official report on culture in Krakow commissioned by the Municipality of Krakow, the Jewish Culture Festival was named the most recognizable cultural event in the city by the local Polish population, as well as foreign visitors.
Janusz also serves in numerous commissions and advisory boards in organizations that aim to promote and present Jewish and Israeli cultures in Poland and abroad, and he has addressed many Polish and international conferences dedicated to Jewish heritage.
In 2008 Janusz was awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland with the Polonia Restituta Order, and in the same year he received the Irena Sendlerowa Award from the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.
In 2018, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, Janusz was the only person from Poland awarded with the honorary title Friend of Israel (Yakir Israel). This was accompanied by a personal letter from the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin and was followed by a private visit with the President.
Janusz is a graduate of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.