Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

December 8th, 2014 - Kislev 15th, 5775

Rome and the Silent Press
by Guido Vitale*

Italian newspapers are overflowing with reporting about a serious scandal that links neo-fascism, organised crime and local politics in Rome. But there is no need to thank any journalistic investigation.
In fact the investigative work was entirely conducted by the investigative magistrates, while the Italian press remained silent for as long as possible. This is an ominous sign that should worry all those who care about democracy.

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

“Ponte” is the Italian word meaning “bridge”. It is a term that comes directly from Latin, and is very common in our country. We have bridges on rivers, and many of them are famous all over the world, such as the magnificent bridges on the Tevere in Rome, on the Arno in Florence, or on the Po, which in Northern Italy crosses many cities. In Venice we have unique pedestrian bridges that allow people to cross the canals, and throughout the country the word “Ponte” recurs in the names of many localities, such as streets or villages.

So, the subject matter of the next European Day of Jewish Culture 2015, which will take place on September 6th, sounds really familiar to the Italian Jewry. The European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage, which organizes the event, has in fact chosen to dedicate this day to “bridges”. It is a theme that can be interpreted in many ways, explained Annie Sacerdoti of the European Association.

“First of all, it can open a dialogue, create relationships between people and different associations, and stimulate a fruitful exchange of ideas. ‘Bridges’ comes from the conviction that nobody, today, can live in isolation and that we must mobilize to promote a connection, even with non-traditional Judaism. Compared with the outside world, the Day of Jewish Culture itself is a bridge”.  This bridge is particularly strong in Italy, where in the last decade the Jewish world participated in the European Day of Jewish culture with remarkable enthusiasm, becoming the first European country to participate.

A Song Celebrating Relations between Israel and the Holy See
By Rossella Tercatin

A celebration to mark the twentieth anniversary from the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See was organized by the Embassy of Israel to the Holy See last Thursday. Special guest of the evening was the Israeli Singer Noa.

Read more

A New Rabbi for Naples
By Adam Smulevich

Rav Umberto Avraham Piperno, 53 years old, has been appointed the new Chief Rabbi of Naples. Rav Piperno, who is an expert of kashrut, has also worked as a teacher of Jewish subjects both in Italy and the United States.
After serving as Chief Rabbi of Trieste, rav Piperno moved to New York in 2007 and became the Rabbi of the Sephardic Congregation of Riverdale, a position that he held until 2012.
Back in Rome, two years ago, he started working at the Rabbinical College as well as at the Beth Shalom synagogue.
Read more

Smart Fashion, Made in Tel Aviv

By Simone Somekh*

Israel is a smart melting pot. Here you can find a little bit of everything but somehow the different bits and pieces almost always end up intertwining in the best possible ways. In such a landscape of diversity and exchange, collaborations occur between people and fields that seem to have nothing in common. Israel’s strength, therefore, is to create “smart” blends, in which each component may be enriched by such unions. One of the most captivating blends made in Tel Aviv in the past few years is the one between fashion and technology.

Read more

Apps for Tikkun Olam 2.0
By Rachel Silvera

"We want to grow a generation of unselfish entrepreneurs." This is the mission of CER Internet Entrepreneurs Prize, the annual event celebrated last week inside the magnificent Ara Pacis in Rome. The Conference of European Rabbis (CER), the primary rabbinical alliance in Europe, was founded in 1956 on the initiative of British Chief Rabbi Sir Israel Brodie. Today its' president is the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt and among its' standing committee members are two Italian rabbis: Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome and Alfonso Arbib, Chief Rabbi of Milan.
With this prize, CER wants to donate a sum of money to useful and selfless projects, start ups and mobile apps developed by young entrepreneurs. A Tikkun Olam ('healing the world') 2.0.

Read more


por Eliezer Di Martino*

Nesta Parashá os judeus receberam o seu verdadeiro nome: Israel. Nada podia ser mais inesperado e misterioso. Jacob está perto de reencontrar o seu irmão Esáu depois de 22 anos, o mesmo Esaú que tinha jurado matá-lo. Sozinho e espantado no meio da noite, Jacob é assaltado por um ser desconhecido com o qual luta até o amanhecer.

*O rabino Eliezer di Martino é o rabino-chefe de Trieste

Leia mais

Lies and/or Truth
By Yaakov Mascetti*

This is something I've wanted to write for years so please bear with me yes? Ya'akov Avinu, or Jacob, is fundamentally a liar. His mother Rivka, or Rebecca, encourages him to lie. He tricks his brother Esau twice, stealing first his birthright and then his blessing. There, I got it out of my system…

Now, it is true what Rav Shai Held states in his "No Excuses: Jacob’s Sin and its Consequences" echoing the Mishna in Baba Kama 2:6, that to be human means to be accountable for one's actions. True it is, also, that Ya'akov learns this lesson through his own actions, thereby teaching the Bible reader that actions are always followed by some consequence, and that excuses are useless upon tackling the unpleasant moments of "truth": when all the lies one has stacked finally unwind and leave space to a healthier clarity, excuses just won't help. But this reading, although certainly radical in the world of Jewish biblical exegesis, still leaves me somewhat dissatisfied. Ya'akov is not merely learning the hard way that he is accountable for the Machiavellian deceptions devised in order to steal his brother's birthright and blessing: he is, I think, teaching us that the utopic and absolute values of "truth," "falsity," "virtue" and "sin" are actually relative

*Yaakov Mascetti holds a Ph.D. and teaches at the Department of Comparative Literature, Bar Ilan University.


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 
You received this newsletter because you authorized UCEI to contact you. If you would like to remove your email address from our list, or if you would like to subscribe using a new email address, please send a blank email to 
desk@ucei.it stating "unsubscribe" or "subscribe" in the subject field.

© 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.

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

Avete ricevuto questo messaggio perché avete trasmesso a Ucei l'autorizzazione a comunicare con voi. Se non desiderate ricevere ulteriori comunicazioni o se volete comunicare un nuovo indirizzo email, scrivete a:
desk@ucei.it indicando nell'oggetto del messaggio "cancella" o "modifica".

© 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.