The representatives of the Jewish communities and institutions of Southern Italy traveled to Rome last week to participate in a conference on the rebirth of Jewish life in their areas organized by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI). Attending the event were people from Puglia, Calabria and Sicily, together with Lidia Shapirer, and Pier Luigi Campagnano, president and former president of the Jewish Community of Naples, which officially represents all Jews living in Southern Italy
The conference was opened by the speech of UCEI president Renzo Gattegna. Running the sessions, among others, were rabbi Roberto Della Rocca and Gadi Piperno, coordinator of the UCEI Project for the South, rabbi Pierpaolo Punturello from the organization Shavei Israel, and the editor in chief of the UCEI newsroom, Guido Vitale.
The current reality of Jewish life in the South is both rich and complex, with many challenges ahead in trying to build sustainable communities notwithstanding the tiny numbers and logistical challenges, such as supplying kosher products.
Among the priorities for the future are raising awareness of the importance of Jewish life and heritage in Southern Italy. Equally important is promoting its knowledge through new and specific projects, especially in the communication area.
In the coming months, a number of events will take place in Southern Italy, from a big Shabbaton to the Moked, the traditional yearly Jewish gathering organized by the UCEI.