Italian Word of the Week PONTI

italics“Ponte” is the Italian word meaning “bridge”. It is a term that comes directly from Latin, and is very common in our country. We have bridges on rivers, and many of them are famous all over the world, such as the magnificent bridges on the Tevere in Rome, on the Arno in Florence, or on the Po, which in Northern Italy crosses many cities. In Venice we have unique pedestrian bridges that allow people to cross the canals, and throughout the country the word “Ponte” recurs in the names of many localities, such as streets or villages.

So, the subject matter of the next European Day of Jewish Culture 2015, which will take place on September 6th, sounds really familiar to the Italian Jewry. The European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage, which organizes the event, has in fact chosen to dedicate this day to “bridges”. It is a theme that can be interpreted in many ways, explained Annie Sacerdoti of the European Association.

“First of all, it can open a dialogue, create relationships between people and different associations, and stimulate a fruitful exchange of ideas. ‘Bridges’ comes from the conviction that nobody, today, can live in isolation and that we must mobilize to promote a connection, even with non-traditional Judaism. Compared with the outside world, the Day of Jewish Culture itself is a bridge”. This bridge is particularly strong in Italy, where in the last decade the Jewish world participated in the European Day of Jewish culture with remarkable enthusiasm, becoming the first European country to participate.