FEATURES The Rabbi and the Regatta
It was a beautiful summer day in Venice. Over 2,100 boats and 8,000 rowers joined the Vogalonga, the legendary non competitive rowing regatta among the Laguna’s canals.
Among them, also a Rabbi.
Rabbi Roberto Della Rocca, the director of the Department of Education and Culture of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities became very keen on rowing only in the past couple of years, after he moved from Rome to Milan and some friends suggested he join the historical Società Canottieri Milano, a rowing and sports club founded in 1890.
But he started to appreciate the idea of rowing in the very same city where he was lately able to join the Vogalonga: indeed between 1992 and 2001 Rabbi Della Rocca was the Chief Rabbi of Venice, “a city that I still keep in my heart” he admits.
“Water is a key symbol in the Jewish tradition. Sooner or later everyone has to cross it. But Venice is also the city of bridges and small streets and corners to discover. The Vogalonga, an over six hours long rowing regatta, was a bit tiring for me, but it truly embodies this spirit.”