NEWS Florence synagogue reopening to be celebrated in a shower of roses

By Pagine Ebraiche staff

To celebrate Shavuot in Pitigliano, it was once customary to scatter rose petals on the synagogue floor. The Jewish Museum of Florence, in association with Coopculture, the Jewish community and the association Opera del Tempio, has chosen to draw inspiration from this tradition to mark the end of the lockdown and the reopening of its Bet ha-knesset for the upcoming holiday.

Synagogue in Italy have been allowed to reopen just before the feast of Shavuot, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar. The connection between flowers and this ancient festivity generated the idea of creating an art installation, whose project was supervised by architect David Palterer.

“The installation will serve as a kind of curtain or shower of roses hanging from the nine arcades of the central hall,” highlighted the Jewish Museum Director, Dora Liscia Bemporad.

“Since we’re in Florence, everyone will no doubt notice that there’s an entirely intentional association with Sandro Botticelli’s paintings The Birth of Venus and Primavera, almost the symbols of the Uffizi Gallery and with the luck that their iconography has spawned up to the present day,” she added.

It is a joyful and colorful way to reassert a special bond. The artwork is set to be installed on the morning of 28th May, will be presented to the press and on 31st all Florentines will be able to visit it. It combines “customs of the Italian Jews with the culture and excellence of the city, with which the Jewish community has always had a cultural and historical exchange”. More than 200 roses of different colors and species will be used and will be provided by the farming cooperative Flora Toscana.

Translated by Mattia Stefani and revised by Claudia Azzalini, both students at the Advanced School of Modern Languages for Interpreting and Translation of Trieste University and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.