By Pagine Ebraiche staff
Forget crowded walks and kosher food tastings. Make way, instead, for a new way of experiencing the history, culture, and traditions of Italian Judaism. The upcoming European Day of Jewish Culture, scheduled for Sunday 6 September, is going to be different from past ones. In the wake of Covid 19, that dramatically affected Italy, the 21th edition of the event, focused on the theme “Jewish Journeys” will also take place in unprecedented ways, relying heavily on new technologies.
The leading city will be for the first Rome, the oldest Jewish community in the Diaspora, and events will be held in over 90 Italian cities and towns. The inauguration will take place at the Palace of Culture, and during the day it will be possible to visit the Jewish Museum, the synagogues, the Jewish Archive and part of the archaeological site in Ostia, where are the remains of one of the oldest synagogues in the world.
As recommended by the AEPJ, the European umbrella organization, many of the events will take place online with virtual itineraries in synagogues, museums, and Jewish neighborhoods, performances, lectures and roundtables. The goal is to allow participants to learn more about the life and traditions of a minority who has been in Italy for over 2,000 years, and to do it in complete safety.
The situation has entailed new limits, explained Noemi Di Segni, UCEI President, but it is also an opportunity to experiment a different way of creating and enjoying a culture: a way of “pushing us to refine and implement new resources and new possibilities”. Despite the great difficulties, Di Segni emphasized the luck of living in a hyper-connected age. And therefore, she stated, also “the European Day of Jewish Culture keeps up with our times, marking a great virtual experiment, which in some cases can still take place where permitted, with the utmost rigor and respect for the regulations in person. We hope it will arise the interest of a wide audience this year as well.”
The challenge is to bring attention to a “lively and alive Judaism, which wishes to open up and make its contribution to society, and which we hope will represent a moment of joy and a light of hope for the whole country, in this difficult time. A moment that Italy,” concluded Di Segni, “is proving to be able to face with great strength, dignity and a sense of community”.
To explore the topics that will be addressed, you can visit the event website, www.ucei.it/giornatadellacultura. More information on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Giornata-Europea-della-Cultura-Ebraica-157028447700593) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/giornatadellacultura/). Many of the events will be streamed online.
By Pagine Ebraiche staff