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April 18, 2016 - Nissan 10, 5776


Italian Jewry Turns towards the South

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By Pagine Ebraiche staff

The representatives of the Jewish communities and institutions of Southern Italy traveled to Rome last week to participate in a conference on the rebirth of Jewish life in their areas organized by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI). Attending the event were people from Puglia, Calabria and Sicily, together with Lidia Shapirer, and Pier Luigi Campagnano, president and former president of the Jewish Community of Naples, which officially represents all Jews living in Southern Italy.
The conference was opened by the speech of UCEI president Renzo Gattegna. Running the sessions, among others, were rabbi Roberto Della Rocca and Gadi Piperno, coordinator of the UCEI Project for the South, rabbi Pierpaolo Punturello from the organization Shavei Israel, and the editor in chief of the UCEI newsroom, Guido Vitale.

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Uncovering the Music of the Holocaust

img headerBy Danielle Cantor*

Raised in a Roman-Catholic family in Germany, Ute Lemper studied music, dance and drama and went on to star in musicals, film and television and perform concerts all over the world. She is internationally renowned for her interpretation of the work of composer Kurt Weill.
A prolific recording artist, Lemper was named Billboard's Crossover Artist of the Year in 1993/1994. She is also a painter, and authored an autobiography in 1995.
Most recently, Lemper collaborated with Italian pianist Francesco Lotoro, founder of Last Musik – an initiative to track down, transcribe and record all the music written in concentration camps during the Holocaust – in a New York City concert. Lotoro has already collected 17,000 scores, and Lemper performed a selection at the Center for Jewish History on April 6, 2016.
Lemper’s next concert – “The 9 Secrets,” a collaboration with Brazilian author Paulo Coelho – will be Friday, May 13th, 2016 at Symphony Space in New York City.

*JWI magazine, April 8, 2016. The picture is by Viviana Kasam.

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Songs for Eternity in New York City

img headerBy Jon Sobel*

For three decades, Italian musician Francesco Lotoro has traveled the world collecting manuscripts of music written in concentration camps and the Jewish ghettoes during World War II by victims and survivors of the Holocaust. He has transcribed and recorded some 5,000 of the 17,000 works he has already unearthed.
But thousands more remain hidden, likely to be lost forever as the remaining survivors die of old age over the next not-so-many years. Last Musik, a new foundation set up to support Lotoro’s ongoing efforts, held a fundraising concert and dinner Wednesday night at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, featuring renowned chanteuse Ute Lemper accompanied by a small pantheon of musicians associated in one way or another with the project: noted Israeli violinist Daniel Hoffman, bandoneón player Victor Villena, well-known klezmer revivalist and all-around virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer, and Lotoro himself on piano.

*BC, April 8, 2016

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Stories of Paper and Glass

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By Ada Treves*

In the district of Cannaregio, memories chase after one another across the calle where Enzo Aboaf’s shop window reflects its image in Diego Baruch Fusetti’s. “La stamperia del Ghetto” (the Ghetto print workshop) is set not far from Campo di Ghetto Nuovo, in a bright and luminous space dominated by Lele Luzzati’s prints and the antique press, which has fallen out of use for many years. “It has been almost twenty years since we have started this business, we are known all over the world… but lately everything has changed. Some years ago, cruise ships were vital for us: each landing brought crowds of foreign tourists, Americans above all, who came and bought everything they could. Nowadays, our only source of sustenance are basically Luzzati’s printed images”. However, this shop is full of hidden treasures, high-value antique prints that have always been Enzo Boaf’s great passion. His anecdotes are also the outcome of the efforts of a Community, which is alive and active and, at the same time, which is emptied by a demographic decline.

*This article has been translated by Isabella Favero, student at the Scuola superiore interpreti e traduttori di Trieste, ‎who is doing her apprenticeship in the newsroom of Pagine Ebraiche.

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The Real Israel and the Israel On Prime Time

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By Pagine Ebraiche staff

The state of Israel was chosen among the countries portrayed in the Italian TV show, “L’Erba dei Vicini,” which is broadcast in prime time on the Channel 3 on Italian public TV (Rai).
Each episode of the show, anchored by Corriere della Sera and New York Times journalist Beppe Severgnini, compares Italy with another country, and during the second season, the show has been featuring Russia, Greece, Holland, Israel, Turkey and China.
Among the topics covered during the episode was a focus on Israel last Thursday were start-ups, being 21 years old in the two countries and the relationship between religion and state. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the focus of a segment which saw as guests the prominent Italian-Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola and journalist Paola Caridi, who has written a book on Hamas.
However, the last segment of the show sparked outrage and criticism over the interview with a notorious Italian Jewish comedian who presents himself as an expert on the Middle East, without any appropriate background or knowledge, as reported on Pagine Ebraiche 24 last Friday.

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Roberto Della Rocca*

Según una tradición, eran las letras las que hacían las Tablas del Pacto tan ligeras y sostenibles. Cuando Moshè bajó del monte Sinaí y tomó conciencia de que los hijos de Israel estaban adorando al becerro de oro, las letras se volaron hacia el Cielo, y solo en ese momento las Tablas se hicieron demasiado pesadas para que él pudiera llevárselas. Así fue que se le cayeron las Tablas y se hicieron añicos, pues las letras facilitaban el paso de las Tablas y las hacían mas leves con respecto a su peso real.

*Roberto Della Rocca es un rabino. Este artículo ha sido traducido en español por Giulia Castelnovo, estudiante de la Scuola superiore traduttori e interpreti di Trieste, que está haciendo su práctica para la revista Pagine Ebraiche.

Leia mas




By David Bidussa*

Nadav and Avihu, believing that they were taking a step further in giving thanks to God, performed an act of devotion that exceeded the bounds of what is permitted. For this reason, they were punished (Lev. 10, 1-2). Fanaticism, as Shaftesbury already pointed out three centuries ago, is never the way to declare oneself as more pious, it is a gesture that only  expresses the intention of dictating new rules. It is not driven by faith, but only for the purpose of domination.

*David Bidussa is an historian.

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or Exhibitionist


By Guido Vitale

...If we are the first to tolerate this massacre of the correct information concerning Israel, the first to consent to anyone, graphomaniac or exhibitionist, only to give vent to their ravings, to speak inappropriately about Israel, how can we expect that public broadcasting and mass television do not expose to the public the rants by certain characters who should limit themselves to comedies?...

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Kashrut and Sustainability


By Daniel Leisawitz*

Tobia Zevi’s article in the April 24th edition of Pagine Ebraiche 24, entitled “Carnivori e vegetariani,” raises some important issues. Zevi, who defines himself as “un vegetariano non sempre praticante” (an occasionally lapsed vegetarian) makes the case for the necessity of a society-wide conversation about the ethical and sustainable treatment of animals destined for human consumption.  He rightly points out that this matter has by now extended beyond the limited spheres of animal rights activists and vegans, to become one of concern, to a significant part of the general public. Zevi puts forward the idea that progress in this arena will not ultimately come about because of apprehension for our well-being, or that of the animals we eat, or even that of the environment; rather, the key to advancement will be a change in general social norms, “because it will become increasingly unacceptable socially to eat foods that are unhealthy, uncivilized and harmful to the environment.”

*Daniel Leisawitz, professor at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA). The artwork is by Abraham Cresques a 14th-century Jewish Spanish cartographer.

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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.
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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, Amanda Benjamin, Monica Bizzio, Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Eliezer Di Martino, Alain Elkann, Dori Fleekop, Daniela Fubini, Benedetta Guetta, Sarah Kaminski, Daniel Leisawitz, Annette Leckart, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Yaakov Mascetti, Francesca Matalon, Jonathan Misrachi, Anna Momigliano, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Sabina Muccigrosso, Lisa Palmieri Billig, Jazmine Pignatello, Shirley Piperno, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Colby Robbins,  Danielle Rockman, Lindsay Shedlin, Michael Sierra, Rachel Silvera, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves, Lauren Waldman, Sahar Zivan.

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Realizzato con il contributo di: Francesco Moises Bassano, Susanna Barki, Amanda Benjamin, Monica Bizzio, Angelica Edna Calò Livne, Eliezer Di Martino, Alain Elkann, Dori Fleekop, Daniela Fubini, Benedetta Guetta, Sarah Kaminski, Daniel Leisawitz, Annette Leckart, Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Yaakov Mascetti, Francesca Matalon, Jonathan Misrachi, Anna Momigliano, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Sabina Muccigrosso, Lisa Palmieri Billig, Jazmine Pignatello, Shirley Piperno, Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Colby Robbins,  Danielle Rockman, Lindsay Shedlin, Michael Sierra, Rachel Silvera, Adam Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves, Lauren Waldman, Sahar Zivan