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September 29th, 2014 - Tishrei 5th, 5775

Vittorio Dan Segre (1922-2014)
by Guido Vitale*

Jewish Italy is mourning the passing away of Vittorio Dan Segre, one of its great protagonists. Before Rosh Hashanah, immediately after the release of “Storia di un ebreo che voleva essere eroe” (The History of a Jew who wanted to be a hero), his latest book, we talked for a last goodbye and he asked me to read his recent analysis on the situation in Israel.
Here are some of his words: "The war in Gaza, in addition to strengthen national solidarity, is raising the awareness of the true Israeli weakness: too small domestic market, social imbalance, low level of formal education, language barriers and above all an unbridled confidence in the capacity of the military technology to replace human imagination and inventiveness. Where will this lead? It is impossible even to imagine it because of the international turmoil and the collapse of American leadership. After all, as Keynes used to say, in the end we will all be dead. It is true, but the choice of how to live is ours, because - as the Kabbalah teaches - in each of us everything is decided through the conscious evolution from selfishness to altruism."

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

Maybe nothing like Yom Kippur is able to stir and dissolve the infinite differences of the Jewish world. Beyond different ritual habits and melodies, in that day the Jewish people experience at each latitude a deep feeling of unity along with the hardness of the “digiuno”, as in Italian we call the fast.

That feeling of unity is somehow amplified, in this new 5775, by the troubled and sad year we just left behind: a year signed by the war, the renewed Anti-Semitism in Europe, and the rising of a dangerous and bloody extremism in the Middle East. Not by chance, the greetings’ messages pronounced by the Rabbis in the synagogues on the day of Rosh HaShanah as the greetings of the President of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities you can find in this issue inevitably refer to the current, difficult situation.

But in a couple of days, the solemn Day of Atonement will lead the powerful feeling of the possibility of a life’s new chapter. And to remind us that a new chapter is always possible, there is a news reported this week: According the last census, the Jews now living in Israel are 6 millions and 104,000. In other words, seventy years after the Shoah and for the first time in the Israeli story, the number of the Jewish population surpass the number of the persecutions’ victims. In demographic terms 104,000 people it is not a big deal, but in symbolic ones it absolutely is.
Rosh HaShanah 5775
A Year for Peace and Prosperity
On the occasion of Rosh HaShanah 5775, the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) Renzo Gattegna sent the following greetings to Counsellors of the Institution, to the Presidents of the Italian Jewish Communities, to the Rabbis and to the whole Jewish world.

Dear Rabbis, Presidents, Counsellors and friends,
I wish the 5775 leads peace and prosperity to all. The last days of the past year were characterized by several conflicts in different world’s areas and the State of Israel was forced to move and fight in order to defend its own existence. Numerous attempts at mystification of reality, aimed to present Israel as the aggressor, have provided the umpteenth confirmation that it is necessary to have valid instruments of communication to spread the correct information. At the same time it is necessary to avoid any form of cultural isolation and to avoid closing against the world in an illusory defence. Only the openness and the readiness for dialogue and confrontation can guarantee and strengthen the exercise of those fundamental rights that in free and democratic countries are adequately preserved.
May the 5775 bring peace and justice, equality and brotherhood.
May the 5775 be for all as sweet as honey.
Shanah Tovah umetukah. 

Vittorio Dan Segre, the Jew
Who Wanted to be a Hero

By Rossella Tercatin

Vittorio Dan Segre, Zionist pioneer, political scientist and journalist whose sharpness, courage and honesty on paper and in life made one of the most prominent Italian intellectuals of the twentieth century, died on Saturday after a long illness. He was 92.

In 1974, when the Italian journalistic legend Indro Montanelli decided to start his own newspaper, “Il Giornale”, he made sure to have Mr. Segre at his side, not only as one of the founders, but also as the Middle East correspondent.

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Trieste, after Yom Kippur,
a Very Special Break-Fast

By Rachel Silvera

Yom Kippur is one of the most important days in Jewish life: you cannot drink or eat anything, you cannot dress leather shoes and you have to pray. This is the Day of Atonement, of Teshuvah. And when fast is over, the typical Jew all around the world has just one thought: coffee, tea, biscuits. A glass of water. A spoon of sugar. And the typical Jew native of Trieste has only one place to go: Caffè San Marco, the beautiful coffeehouse just one minute (or less) away from synagogue.

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Going International in Ferrara
By Ada Treves

“Internazionale a Ferrara” is the international journalism festival of Internazionale, the weekly Italian magazine that, inspired by the French Courrier International, was born in 1993. Every year since 2007 about two hundred guests arrive from about forty countries to animate workshops, conferences, debates and to introduce documentary films from all over the world.

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Ein Besuch in Predappio

von Maximilian Aelfers

Ich bin ein 21-jähriger Österreicher und leiste gerade meinen Gedenkdienst an der Fondazione CDEC in Mailand. Ich unternahm gemeinsam mit einem anderen Gedenkdiener, der gerade seinen Dienst an der Fondazione Museo della Shoah in Rom leistet, einen Ausflug nach Predappio.

Die 6500 Einwohner prägende Geburts- und Begräbnisstätte von Benito Mussolini liegt in der Provinz Forlì-Cesena, der Region Emilia-Romagna.
In dieser Gegend gibt es berühmte Weinbaugebiete, Predappio gehört nicht dazu.
Die Touristen, die es nach Predappio verschlägt, lockt etwas anderes. Das Erbe des Faschismus und dessen Vertreter Benito Mussolini.

Weiter lesen

Double life - Departures/Arrivals

By Daniela Fubini*

In the middle of the complicated process that bridges any human being from the status of simple passport holder to that one of traveler on a plane, I stood like a perfect idiot recently, at Ben Gurion Airport. Pardon me: International Airport.

I had just replied successfully to the supposedly tricky interrogation of the young security representative, who absently rolled the usual list of questions she learnt by heart, and wondered what would have been her reaction had I replied that I carry dynamite and a weirdo just gave me an odd-shaped package to deliver at destination. Would she have recorded the potentially explosive information? I hope so.

*Daniela Fubini lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.

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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, Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Eliezer Di Martino, Alain Elkann, Daniela Fubini, Benedetta Guetta, Sarah Kaminski, Daniel Leisawitz, Annette Leckart, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Yaakov Mascetti, Francesca Matalon, Anna Momigliano, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Lisa Palmieri Billig, Shirley Piperno, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Rachel Silvera, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves.

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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, Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Eliezer Di Martino, Alain Elkann, Daniela Fubini, Benedetta Guetta, Sarah Kaminski, Daniel Leisawitz, Annette Leckart, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Yaakov Mascetti, Francesca Matalon, Anna Momigliano, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Lisa Palmieri Billig, Shirley Piperno, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Rachel Silvera, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves.