By Gadi Luzzatto Voghera*
Exploring the ever-growing collection of the CDEC Foundation’s archive and library is an activity that can hold interesting surprises and teach a lot. Take for example the next Purim festival, which Jewish children (and adults too) from all over the world have used to celebrate for centuries with joy by organizing staging, dressing up, and drinking happily. A collective appointment, which the current restrictions will make this year difficult to respect in traditional forms. And so, let’s try to take a look at the past of our communities. The surprises will be many and unexpected. If you type the word “Purim” in the site of the Digital Library, you will discover photographs of great interest: children celebrating at the Turin orphanage, adults posing with costumes in Tripoli, masked and dancing girls in Venice, and many other historical images. Documents that come from the past, but which also speak to the future. In a few months, next autumn, these and other archival collections will find a new location and will be more easily accessible. The CDEC Foundation will transfer its headquarters to the Central Station in Milan, integrating itself into the Shoah Memorial which just recently reopened for face-to-face visits. This is a major project that will offer new spaces for consulting documents, teaching, dissemination and study.
*Director of the CDEC – Contemporary Jewish Documentation Foundation