Long lines outside Jewish venues, packed auditoriums, a wide selection of lectures, exhibits, performances and concerts: the 2016 edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture was held all over Italy last Sunday, and as per usual, it attracted thousands of people from all over the country. Celebrating the event were not only cities which currently have a viable Jewish community, but also locations were Jews used to live, or still do but without the official presence of Jewish institutions; from Piedmont to Calabria and all the way to Sicily.
The theme chosen for this year, Jewish languages, offered an opportunity to explore stories and the nuances of languages like Hebrew and Yiddish which are associated with the Jewish life everywhere in the world. Furthermore, attention was devoted to Italian-Jewish patois, starting from Giudaico-Romanesco (Roman-Jewish).
“The European Day of Jewish Culture represents an important opportunity of encounter between Italian Jews and their fellow citizens. It is a precious occasion to explore all the different nuances and dimensions of the rich Jewish identity and to bring thousands of people closer to the topics that are dear to the heart of the Jewish minority, among the most ancient minorities in Italy,” highlighted the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities Noemi Di Segni.
Italy has traditionally been among the countries with the highest number of participants at the European Day of Jewish Culture. The event is celebrated in over 30 countries all over the continent.