The Greater Chicago Jewish Festival is produced by the Jewish Production Organization for Cultural Events and Theater (P.O.C.E.T.), a non-profit corporation. The Jewish P.O.C.E.T. is a production group comprised of professionals in the fields of art, music, theater, dance, radio, television, communications, community relations, education, engineering, finance, law and technology. They volunteer their time and expertise in planning and producing large scale events for the Jewish community. In addition to having diverse professions, they represent the full spectrum of Jewish diversity united by a common goal.
The Festival was first produced in 1980 and despite bad weather which forced us indoors, more than 6,000 people attended. Subsequent Festivals (held in 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) were overwhelmingly successful. Attendance grew from 18,000 in 1983 to over 40,000 and this year we celebrate our 30th Anniversary with great expectations and fond memories.
The Greater Chicago Jewish Festival is one of the largest and longest running Jewish festivals in the United States and the largest Jewish event in the Chicago area. Many other Jewish communities have been inspired by the Greater Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival and have come to meet with us in an effort to emulate our concept. National Festivals page
This fun and unique event has various profound effects:
The outdoor showcase includes seven hours of continuous entertainment on four stages: two main stages for musical entertainment and a stage for dance groups, theater groups and storytelling. In addition, the festival includes a children's stage, a hands-on activity area, an art fair, a craft fair, an ethnic food fair and organization fair.
ALL of the revenues from the Festival go directly toward producing the event. No group benefits financially and no individual receives a salary from this Festival. The Festival is a community event, not a commercial event.
We are also forming a National Jewish Festival Committee. The purposes of this committee will be to provide a forum for the exchange of information and to assist other communities that would like to create their own festivals. We have added a National Jewish Festival section to our web site where we will be gathering information on festivals and providing links to their sites if available. If you have information about other Jewish festivals in the United States or would like to participate in the national committee, please call the Festival Hotline at 847-933-3000, write us at The Greater Chicago Folk Arts Festival, P.O. Box 5215, Skokie, IL 60076 or Email Us.