meisBy Adam Smulevich

“On this day, dedicated to the role of women and to their contribution to Jewish life, we want to express our determination in defending each and every woman in this world from violence, abuse and any kind of threat. We will always be on their side”.
The President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna, has pronounced these words during the opening ceremony of the 15th edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture, in Ferrara, the principal city for Italy in 2014.
The ceremony was attended, among others, by the Minister of Education Stefania Giannini, and around the city many events have been dedicated to Women in Judaism, the theme chosen for this year’s edition. Among others, a panel animated by rabbis, academics and intellectuals was held in the Biblioteca Ariostea. Hundreds of people also visited the MEIS (National Museum of the Italian Judaism and the Shoah) taking advantage of the event “Meis at work” which offered the possibility of discovering the building itself, together with all the projects being held around it, from a unique point of view.
Full of evocative power was also the exhibit “Donne ebree dell’Italia unita. Una storia per immagini” (Jewish women in the Unified Italy. A visual history) which is hosted in the prestigious Salone d’Onore del Palazzo Municipale and has been organized by the Centre for Contemporary Jewish Documentation of Milan (Cdec).