By Rachel Silvera
“The delicate situation of Venetian Jews is the metaphor of a crossroad that required strong choices and, at the same time, openness to the world.” 500 years after the establishment of the Ghetto of Venice, rabbi Roberto Della Rocca (former Chief Rabbi of the city) reflects on its meaning in the Pagine Ebraiche special section devoted to the anniversary.
Inside the special section, edited by journalist Ada Treves, the readers will also find op-eds by Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro, governor of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, Venice Chief Rabbi Scialom Bahbout and president of the Venice Jewish community, Paolo Gnignati.
“This anniversary is an opportunity to explore a long history of denial, oppression and pain, but also the walk together toward freedom,” wrote the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities Renzo Gattegna. The March issue of Pagine Ebraiche also reports on all the details about the big concert that will open the anniversary commemorations at historic La Fenice Theatre.
For a deep look into the legacy of Venetian Jewish history, the special section also features contributions from professor of English literature Dario Calimani, psychotherapist Enrico Levis, historian Gadi Luzzatto Voghera and Michele Bugliesi, a Ca’ Foscari University dean.
The protagonist of the interview of the month is the renowned historian and art historian Simon Schama who talks about the past and the future of Venice Jewish history and heritage.
Italy has lost one of the most important writers and intellectuals of the last century: Umberto Eco. Interviewed in 2010 on Pagine Ebraiche, Eco explained his fight for the Truth while presenting his book “The Prague Cemetery”, a novel inspired by infamous anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
After the visit of Pope Bergoglio to the synagogue, the Chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni reflects on the Christian-Jewish dialogue, but warns: “It’s ok to look forward but we have to be cautious”.
On dialogue between the two faiths, Pagine Ebraiche features the thoughts of Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Rabbi David Berger, Rabbi David Rosen and Jonathan Rosenblum, founder of Jewish Media Resources, an organization that aims at clarifying journalists’ understanding of Haredi Jewish society.
Historian Anna Foa reviews “The Bank and the Ghetto”, the new book by historian Giacomo Todeschini that explores the links between the Jews (and their role in the society) and the history of banking.
What happens when soybeans meet challa or sushi meets hummus? To tell Pagine Ebraiche’s readers all about it, there are people who have chosen to open a kosher restaurant in the Far East.