“The Lucky Jew Shop” Rubenfeld / Pinkosz – exhibition-intervention

Lucky Jew Shop is a satirization of the increasing appropriation and commodification of Jewish Culture in Krakow. It is the continuation part of an ongoing FestivALT project called “Lucky Jew”, which began as a response to what has arguably been one of the most problematic representations of this in Poland: the buying and selling of images of Jews with Coins “for luck”.


In the original project, FestivALT Co-Director, Michael Rubenfeld, dressed as a real-live “Lucky Jew”, would sell images of himself with a coin, claiming they were “luckier” than the other fake nostalgic images of Jews with coins from the past. These images would be sold as paintings, but also on coffee mugs, iPhone cases, coasters, fridge magnets, etc; anything he could possibly find. 


The project attracted the attention of the City of Krakow and a partnership with FestivALT was formed that ultimately led to the successful limitation of the sale of these objects in the public space. The streets of Kazimierz, however, are still inundated with visions of Jewishness: restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, events and tours. The majority of these offerings have little to do with authentic Jewish culture, and are mostly about using Jewishness as decoration to attract business.

“Lucky Jew Shop” is the next iteration of the “Lucky Jew” project, and a response to the continued use of Jewish and Holocaust memory as tools for commodification. For this project, the city regulations limiting the  selling of “Jews with Coins” has put the Lucky Jew (aka Michael Rubenfeld) out of business. In response, he has decided to open a Lucky Jew Shop, claiming that all the products in his shop are “Jewish Products” and thus will all bring you luck. 


In Krakow, you can sprinkle a little Jewish magic over anything to turn a profit.


Open: 06.23–07.2, daily 11am–5am

Meet the real-live Lucky Jew, visit the shop and eat a bagel!

Opening Event: June 24, 11am–3pm


Lucky Jew Shop is created by Michael Rubenfeld. Design by Agata Pinkosz.

Financed by

This event is part of FestivALT 2023 organized as part of the project "MultiMemo. Multidirectional Memory: Remembering for Social Justice" with the support of the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Program (2021–2027).