il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

ROSH HASHANAH 5778 One year to decide our future

dossierBy Guido Vitale*

This 5778 which is now to begin is the year of some decisions that will leave their mark on the Italian Jewish institutions. The whole Jewish world is confused: it isn’t ready enough to act in a context where old divisions between conservatives and progressives have little relevance and where the essencial thing is to face up to a line of globalists and internationalists, which actually opposes to a strong nationalist and glib group resurgence. Beneath big global problems, we can see that there is plenty of unresolved issues in the Italian Jewish agenda.

The crisis of values and ideas
It’s harder and harder for Italian Judaism to establish what message it actually wants to convey to its sorrounding society and what role it wants to play in the Italy of our days. Considered the current situation, we shouldn’t settle for general ideas and customary expressions. On the contrary, we should define a more specific content the whole of Italian people could clearly understand. Being limited to initiatives which are reserved for narrow contexts, reproducing pieces of historical talks in a society where ordinary people are living new and serious problems very badly just means certifying a kind of marginalisation.

The crisis of the Holocaust commemoration
The sense of commemorating the Holocaust has been drammatically deteriorating during the last few years. The growing distance in time, the death of the last witnesses and the dangerous tendency to ritualize and institutionalize run the risk of depriving Memory of its key role for people’s lives, making it part of a purely formal dimension. During next year, our Country will guide the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the whole of us will have the opportunity to contribute to redefining and keeping Memory alive.

New generations
The youngest people’s behaviour, who are leaving Italy more and more, speaks for itself. A credible policy cannot stand on drafts of leisure and entretainment initiatives. It has to act in a serious way to ensure new employments and to aim to an intense education, which is important to provide the access to the current market.

Financial resources
The increasingly precarious influx of the resources of “Otto per mille”, which are not enough in any case, ended up making intelligence lazy and preventing an awarness of what resources really are, where they come from and how they can be found. A planning for our future should not only provide the true measure of an unsustainable economic need, but also the engine to raise the necessary funding.

The role of information
Each of the previous topics can be read through different kinds of perception Italian Jewish people and their friends are formulating about the problem of information and, as a consequence, about the destiny of this newspaper. Who wants to be in favour of an Italian Judaism which is in the service of a mere campaign and a digital insanity, who doesn’t believe in the usefulness of a free and professional piece of information runs the risk of leaving out many disasters and catastrophically serious problems. To be faithful to our mission and to the spiritual inheritance we took over, we have to demonstrate to be able to speak frankly and peacefully, to be open and attached to tradition at the same time. We have to trust our tomorrow, despite all. For more than two millenia, Italian Jewish people have been undertaking the task of conveying a message of cohesion in diversity, of faith in values, of tollerance and firm opposition to every prevarication, of love for Israel, of confidence that big ideas and beliefs could gain a foothold in our society, despite the current little turnout. Setting aside our original vocation would not only be a significant distortion, but also the tragic mistake of taking a no return path of poverty and marginalisation.

Translation made by Anna Pagetti, student at the Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators of Trieste University, intern at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.