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May 12th, 2014 - Iyar 12th, 5774

Our Food Culture,
Italy's Business
by Guido Vitale*

Parma, the charming city famed for its classical music connections and for its fine dining, aspires to be the Italian food capital both economically and culturally.
Italian Jews are increasingly showing how they can make an important contribution to this sector, reflecting both their ancient culinary traditions and their dietary laws. We witnessed a first step in this direction at the Cibus Parma International Fair, which came to its conclusion a few days ago.

Our goal of bringing together sometimes disparate worlds and to encourage occasions for dialogue and understanding is sometimes difficult to achieve, particularly in Italy, where a certain individualism and insularity often complicates communication between different spheres. However, at the Cibus fair it became clear that our renewed effort at spreading an understanding of kashrut and the Italian Jewish tradition has started awakening significant public interest.

It has been a privilege for us to act as catalysts for these exciting developments, and to see the significant attention that is currently being paid to the fact that providing the Italian food industry with greater accessibility to the multi-billion dollar international market for kosher food will generate great benefits both for Italian food producers and for discerning consumers around the world.

*Guido Vitale is the editor-in-chief of Pagine Ebraiche.
Italian Word of the Week:
by Daniela Gross

The word “ghetto” is so familiar for an Italian Jew. Since your childhood you know what the ghetto is, where it is and often you grow up playing in the maze of its narrow streets. The term is related to the Ghetto of Venice, the first one instituted in Europe in 1516. From there, the word spread through the continent indicating the area where the Jews had to live, restricted by law, separated from the rest of population.

The ghettos were abolished during the XIX century, also following the ideals of the French Revolution, and the last ghetto to be suppressed in Western Europe was that of Rome, in 1870, when the city was annexed to Reign of Italy. Now, while the 500 years of the Venetian Ghetto are approaching (the celebration for the anniversary, next year, already began) historians reflect on what that period really meant in the Jewish history. But in the everyday life of Italian Jews, Ghetto has definitely lost the meaning of separation and mostly is no longer the place where Jews live.

That ancient district is now one of the poles of the Jewish Community life, even if the synagogues built after the Emancipation stand outside its walls. It is a familiar place, which testifies the glorious and troubled history of the Italian Jews. It hosts events, shops, restaurants, has a strong appeal on the tourists (especially in Venice and in Rome) and, with its atmosphere, its old fascinating houses and its central location, it is often an amazing place to inhabit. As for me, I dream of living in those magnificent palaces in Portico d’Ottavia, in the Ghetto of Rome: one of the most beautiful places in the Eternal City.
Culture - turin international book fair
Our Future. By the Book
By Ada Treves

The numbers of the Turin International Bookfair are impressive, and the goal of 400,000 visitors seems now possible. The Salone internazionale del Libro di Torino lasts five days, and already in the opening day the trend was clear, the affluence being 6 per cent higher than last year.

Pagine Ebraiche, the newspaper of Italian Jewry is present for the fifth year, guest of the organization, as it has been since 2009, when its first number was presented in this same occasion, and distributed in thousands of copies.

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When Ricotta and Chocolate
are Oscar-worthy

By Adam Smulevich
Only hours after "The Great Beauty", the Italian movie drama, which portrays the declining and yet sparkling life of a stunning Rome, won the Oscar for best foreign language film, the director, Paolo Sorrentino, born and raised in Naples, decided to reveal his favorite spots of his city of adoption. Among them, a legendary kosher bakery.
“Pasticceria Boccione” is located in the heart of Portico d’Ottavia, the main square of Jewish old Ghetto, and it is run by Limentani family.

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Life, Color and Fairy Tales 
The Jewish World of an Artist

By Daniela Gross
In the happy days of his childhood he loved to draw and invent stories and performances with puppets, recreating what he saw at the Opera Theatre with his parents. At that time his best spectator was his little sister. But once he grew-up, the creations of Emanuele Luzzati (Genova 1921-2007) reached a public much wider than his family, touching the heart of generations in Italy and abroad.

The work of Luzzati, artist, illustrator, set designer, director and Academy Awards nominee, is now recreated in the exhibit “Vita, colore, fiabe - Il mondo ebraico di Emanuele Luzzati – Life, color, fairy tales – The Jewish World of Emanuele Luzzati”, organized by the MEIS in collaboration with Museo Luzzati (Genova), and recently inaugurated at the Jewish book fair in Ferrara.
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From Venice to Vienna,
Lost Treasures from the Ghetto

By Simone Somekh*

While the Italian city of Venice is preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its renowned Jewish ghetto, the Belvedere Gallery of Vienna has presented the temporary exhibition “Lost Treasures of the Jewish Ghetto”. Displayed are several valuables, mainly ritual objects, which were hidden by the Nazis in 1943 and then found during the restoration of the Scola Spagnola several years later.

*Simone Somekh is a student at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and writes as a freelance for the Jewish Italian press.

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Marranismo y diáspora

Francesco Moises Bassano

Este año el “Festival del libro de Ferrara” se avivó con una conferencia sobre el Marranismo y la función de la diáspora sefardí en Italia y en el resto del mundo. Una herencia ibérica que en nuestro país ha tenido una importancia no desdeñable, y en la actualidad representa uno de los principales temas hebraicos de interés y de especulación intelectual. Tras las primeras persecuciones contra los judíos y la expulsión definitiva de la Península Ibérica en el siglo XVI, son muchas la ciudades italianas que recuerdan el tránsito y la influencia de los exiliados y conversos ibéricos.
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A New Perspective on the History of the Jews in Italy

By Gadi Luzzatto Voghera*

The importance of the Italian Jewry, the main significance of its history, is related to the Jewish experience in the Renaissance period. In those centuries many events occurred to the lives of the Jews in Italy, and most of these became main points and more general issues for the history of the Jewry and for the history of its comparison with the non-Jewish society: the rise of a new publishing industry, the burning of the Talmud, the making of the Ghetto, the confrontation (and sometimes the clash) between the “edòth”, the secularization process starting during Renaissance and continuing through the Baroque period, and so on.

The historical debate is now devoted to those topics, and one of the main questions remains the interpretation of the so called “Ghetto era”. Although in the last decades many renown scholars have had great doubts around the significance of the Ghetto in the history of the Jews, we are being confronted all the time with the deep and diffused perception of a homogeneous and uniform period that lasted about two and a half centuries in which the Jews in Italy were restricted by law and lived a tremendous and dramatic separation from the gentile society. We know this is not completely true. And I think we are now coming to face the challenge of changing the “dictionary” of the history of the Jews in modern Italian history

*Boston University Study Abroad Center, Padua

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moked è il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

This newsletter is published under difficult conditions. The editors of this newsletter are Italian journalists whose native language is Italian. They are willing to offer their energy and their skills to give international readers the opportunity of learning more about the Italian Jewish world, its values, its culture and its traditions.
In spite of all our efforts to avoid this, readers may find an occasional language mistake. We count on your understanding and on your help and advice to correct these mistakes and improve our publication.

Pagine Ebraiche International Edition is published by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI). UCEI publications encourage an understanding of the Jewish world and the debate within it. The articles and opinions published by Pagine Ebraiche International Edition, unless expressly stated otherwise, cannot be interpreted as the official position of UCEI, but only as the self-expression of the people who sign them, offering their comments to UCEI publications. Readers who are interested in making their own contribution should email us at desk@ucei.it 
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© UCEI - All rights reserved - The articles may only be reproduced after obtaining the written permission of the editor-in-chief. Pagine Ebraiche - Reg Rome Court 199/2009 – Editor in Chief: Guido Vitale - Managing Editor: Daniela Gross.
Special thanks to: Francesco Moises Bassano, Susanna Barki, Monica Bizzio, Benedetta Guetta, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Francesca Matalon,
Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves.

Questo notiziario è realizzato in condizioni di particolare difficoltà. I redattori di questo notiziario sono giornalisti italiani di madrelingua italiana. Mettono a disposizione le loro energie e le loro competenze per raccontare in lingua inglese l'ebraismo italiano, i suoi valori, la sua cultura e i suoi valori. Nonostante il nostro impegno il lettore potrebbe trovare errori e imperfezioni nell'utilizzo del linguaggio che faremo del nostro meglio per evitare. Contiamo sulla vostra comprensione e soprattutto sul vostro aiuto e sul vostro consiglio per correggere gli errori e migliorare.

Pagine Ebraiche International Edition è una pubblicazione edita dall'Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane. L'UCEI sviluppa mezzi di comunicazione che incoraggiano la conoscenza e il confronto delle realtà ebraiche. Gli articoli e i commenti pubblicati, a meno che non sia espressamente indicato il contrario, non possono essere intesi come una presa di posizione ufficiale, ma solo come la autonoma espressione delle persone che li firmano e che si sono rese gratuitamente disponibili. Gli utenti che fossero interessati a offrire un proprio contributo possono rivolgersi all'indirizzo  desk@ucei.it

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© UCEI - Tutti i diritti riservati - I testi possono essere riprodotti solo dopo aver ottenuto l'autorizzazione scritta della Direzione. Pagine Ebraiche International Edition - notiziario dell'ebraismo italiano - Reg. Tribunale di Roma 199/2009 - direttore responsabile: Guido Vitale -
Coordinamento: Daniela Gross.
Realizzato con il contributo di:
Francesco Moises Bassano, Susanna Barki, Monica Bizzio, Benedetta Guetta, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Francesca Matalon, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves.