European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ)

The AEPJ extends an invitation to join the growing family of Jewish heritage routes in form of a guide-brochure which will be available following this link.


For more information, please contact:

Latest News

Let’s explore Jewish History and Heritage in Lithuania

New tourist guide on Jewish history and heritage in Lithuania

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): Lithuania_Guide.pdf

As a result of the initiative of the Lithuanian based ‘Turizmo Plėtros Institutas’ (Institute of Tourism Development), the new tourist guide ‘Let’s explore Jewish History and Heritage in Lithuania’ has now been published.

The preparation and publication of this guide was sponsored by ‘Geros Valios Fondas’ (Good Will Foundation), ‘Turizmo Plėtros Institutas’ and private enterprises.

The guide presents the ten most important Jewish historical and cultural heritage sites (museums, synagogues and memorials), which are open for tourists to visit, and located in attractive tourist destinations such as Vilnius, Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Šiauliai and Joniškis.

In addition to describing these ten sites, there is information about local Jewish communities, Tourism Information Centres and other places of interest.

Through this publication, ‘Turizmo Plėtros Institutas’ seeks to contribute to the promotion of the unique and special historical and cultural heritage of the Lithuanian Jews (Litvaks), and foster the ideals of tolerance and respect for ethnic minorities.

The guide also represents Lithuania becoming a part of the European Route of Jewish Heritage created by the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ) under the auspices of the Council of Europe.

The PDF version of the guide will be available soon at the "publications" section of the AEPJ website

New educational project on Jewish heritage in Spain

"Benjamin de Sefarad" strives to increase the knowledge of the Jewish Sephardic legacy among schoolchildren.

The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters has developed a new educational project addressed to the pupils of 2nd grade of Secondary school. They are being acquainted with the Jewish Sephardic legacy of their hometowns and then they are to develop different projects on this subject.
The first experience has been carried out during 7 months in the city of Girona, and has been a huge success. Other cities, such as Besalú, Castelló d'Empúries and Jaén are following.

The AEPJ and ITERVITIS join forces to develop new projects

For the first time, two European Cultural Routes – the European Route of Jewish Heritage-Vineyards of Sefarad and Itervitis- have held a joint meeting in Girona (Spain), in order to strengthen ties and create new projects in the field of cultural heritage.

Besides representatives from the AEPJ and the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, the meeting was also attended by representatives of the Portuguese and Italian associations of wine cities, the General Secretary of Itervitis, and representatives of Aeonotour, and of the Gallician towns of Cambados and Ribadavia.
The meeting dealt with important issues such as:
• Signing a cooperation agreement which envisages the development of new cultural routes related to Jewish heritage and wine.
• Envisaging a joint promotion of both networks in those common routes to be created.
• Setting-up specific training for young wine producers, proposing the participation of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters in the next training activity, which will take place at the end of this month in Israel.
• The participation of both networks in the training courses taking place in Portugal at the end of the month of April, and which will include for the first time the process of producing kosher wine.

Itervitis has just presented the 14th international oenological competition “The Mayor’s Choice”, an original project which links the wine producers with the mayors and their territories. Furthermore, during the meeting it has been agreed to also include in this competition the wine category of Best Kosher Wine, besides the categories of Best Dessert Wine, Best Sparkling Wine, Best Organic wine, Best Cooperative, etc. The competition will be decided in Oeiras (Portugal), coinciding with the celebration of the Volvo Ocean Race 2015, where other cultural activities will also be held.
More information about the competition available at:

The most important result of the meeting is the agreement to work together on a joint project of cultural and commercial development to present to the European institutions.

Diner-débat à l'ULIF, Paris, France, 20/11/2014: LE JUDAISME EST IL ENCORE MISOGYNE?

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_152.pdf

Voir le flyer en PDF (annexe)

EDJC's program in...the United Kingdom

The UK is contributing as usual, with more than 20 cities and towns organizing activities until the end of here for the program!

Colloquium “Judaeo-Spanish Paths and Mediterranean Heritage”

On occasion of the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage, an international symposium is being held on September 15th in Paris

Organised jointly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and B’nai B’rith International, this international symposium will take place in Paris next Monday, September 15th.
Everyone interested in participating needs to apply for registration at:

EDJC's programme in...Switzerland

Basel, Bern, Delémont, Endingen-Lengnau, Genève, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Zürich: these are the Swiss cities participating in EDJC 2014. Discover their activities here!

Photo: the synagogue of La Chaux-de-Fonds

EDJC's programme in...Sweden

Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden's main cities, are taking part in EDJC 2014 proposing many meaningful and interesting activities. Click here to see what's going on up North!

(Photo by Steven R. Weiss)


AEPJ, in charge of organization of the European Day of Jewish Culture, would like to sincerely thank the Jewish Museum of Belgium for having chosen this special day for re-opening the museum.
We deeply appreciate this honour, and would like to correspond it with the proposal to keep a minute of silence at the starting of EDJC in all participating countries and cities.
Le AEPJ, organisateur de la JECJ, remercie sincèrement au Musée Juif de Belgique, qui a choisi cette journée pour rouvrir ses installations.
Nous nous sentons très honorés et aimerions bien retourner le geste en tenant une minute de silence au début de la journée dans chaque ville au commencement de la Journée.


A l'occasion de la Journée Européenne de la Culture Juive et quatre mois après le tragique événement survenu au musée, ayant coûté la vie à Myriam et Emmanuel RIVA, Dominique SABRIER, et Alexandre STRENS, le Musée Juif de Belgique vous informe de la réouverture de ses portes, qui aura lieu le 14 septembre 2014 à 11 h 00 lors de la Journée Européenne de la Culture Juive. Une cérémonie qui se tiendra en présence des personnalités du monde politique, académique, diplomatique, religieux et culturel.

11 h 00' Ouverture des portes
12 h 00' Allocution du Président du Musée Juif de Belgique, M.Philippe Blondin
12 h 15' Discours du Premier ministre, M. Elio Di Rupo
12 h 30'Lancement des activités dans le cadre de la Journée Européenne de la Culture Juive.
13 h 45' Exposé sur le thème de la "Femme dans le Judaïsme" par la Présidente du Lobby Européen des Femmes, Mme Viviane Teitelbaum.
15 h 00 Réouverture des expositions "La robe est ailleurs" & "Warsawarsaw" par le Directeur du Grand Hornu, M. Laurent Busine

Télécharger le depliant

EDJC's programme in... Spain

Another year, the 24 Spanish cities that belong to the Red de Juderías de España (Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters) offer you a very complete programme of activities for the European Day of Jewish Culture. In addition, some other Spanish cities join the Day on this special occasion. You can find more information in a special website.

Photo: Vidicam S.L. Borja Campillo & Jesús Campillo

EDJC's programme in... Slovenia

Ljubljana, Maribor or Negova, in Slovenia, will hold a lot of activities on September 14th.

EDJC's programme in... Serbia

Novi Sad, in Serbia, proposes you some events for this European Day of Jewish Culture. Check them out!

Photo: By Vanjagenije (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Romania

Besides the open doors day at synagogues in some of the most important cities of Romania, Bucharest offers varied activities such as guided tours, lectures or concerts.

EDJC's programme in... Portugal

Castelo Branco, in Portugal, has prepared a very detailed programme for this September 14th, with speeches by different personalities related to the Jewish culture.

Photo: By Boaz Gabriel Canhoto (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Norway

All activities in Norway will take place mainly in Oslo: lectures, music, debates...

Photo: By Leif Knutsen, User :Leifern [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Netherlands

There are many cities in the Netherlands that organize special events for this European Day of the Jewish Culture: Alkmaar, Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Deventer... Check out the list of activities in our agenda!

Photo: By Martie Ressing, User :Ressing (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Luxembourg

The city of Luxembourg proposes you guided tours, exhibitions, workshops, food tasting, lectures... You'll enjoy this September 14th!

Photo: Cayambe (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Lithuania

Vilnius, in Lithuania, offers different lectures and guided tours to all interested visitors. Check them out!

Photo: Vilnius Choral Synagogue

EDJC's programme in... Italy

Italy has created a specific website, Giornata Europea della Cultura Ebraica, about the EDJC in which you can discover all the activities they organize.

EDJC's programme in... Ireland

For the first time Ireland joins the participants of the EDJC by offering open doors and guided tours to the Irish Jewish Museum. A very nice opportunity to discover the Irish Jewish history!

EDJC's programme in... Greece

Larissa, in Greece, offers you several activities for this year's edition. Don't miss any of them!

EDJC's programme in... Germany

There are many cities in Germany that participate in this year's European Day of Jewish Culture. Check them out!

Photo: Berlin Synagogue Rykestrasse Hauptschiff by Mazbln

EDJC's programme in... France

In France, the activities are organized throughtout the national territory by various institutional or associative actors with social ties and are open to everyone.

Photo: Great synagogue of Paris

EDJC's programme in... Denmark

Copenhaguen, in Denmark, will organize several activities this 2014. Check them out!

Photo: By JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

EDJC's programme in... Croatia

In Croatia, the city of Osijek will organize several activities like a concert or a performance of a dance group.

EDJC's programme in... Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the activities will take place in Sofia, take a look at their agenda!

EDJC's programme in... Belgium

In Belgium, the main location for this year 2014 is Antwerp, with activities such as guided tours, lectures, etc.

Picture: "Jewish Quarter (7402552208)" by Michael Day - Jewish QuarterUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

EDJC's programme in... Austria

We'll keep you up to date on the programmes submitted by the countries participating in the European Day of Jewish Culture

We'll start with Austria and the two cities organizing activities during the European Day of Jewish Culture 2014: Burgenland and Hohenems.

In the next days we'll continue to publish information regarding the other countries participating in this EDJC 2014 edition.

Picture: Wiener Stadttempel by Dnalor_01 (Wikimedia Commons) (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Women in Judaism

Subject matter of this year's European Day of Jewish Culture 2014

The theme of the 2014 cultural heritage day is Women in Judaism. This itinerary is designed to celebrate the contribution of women to Jewish cultural heritage across the member countries of the AEPJ By focusing on notable female figures from a wide variety of disciplines, the itinerary seeks to draw attention to the significance of the input of Jewish women, not just to their own cultural heritage, but also to the wider cultures of the countries they were active in and indeed, Europe generally. As with notable Jews from all fields of endeavour, the migratory nature of individuals and, indeed, communities is a significant factor. The itinerary seeks therefore not only to highlight the importance of notable Jewish women in their birth countries, but also recognise individuals who were active in other countries and we have noted where this is the case. Where possible or relevant, we have begun each itinerary with a notable quotation from the woman in question.

More information at the EDJC's page.

Meeting of Coordinators of European Day of Jewish Culture

Lisbon's meeting on June 6-8 - the report

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_124.pdf

On June 6-8, many coordinators of the European Day of Jewish Culture held a meeting in Lisbon, Portugal; most of them were meeting face to face for the first time, so the confrontation was extremely fruitful and inspiring. The meeting's report follows as a PDF file

Summer seminar on cultural routes in Santiago de Compostela

The Summer Seminar will take place from the 12th to the 16th June 2014 in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, Spain. AEPJ, will attend this seminar.

The seminar will include sessions on case studies and worshops about peer-to-peer knowledge transfer on priority areas of action for candidate projects.

Candidates and certified routes representatives will spend Saturday 14 June 2014 together, benefiting from a field visit to certified cultural routes in the region (Saint-James Ways, Thermal towns…).

Other sessions for certified cultural routes will focus on defining the priorities for future strategies (2014-2020 European opportunities, Cultural Routes tailor-made indicators and training module).

More information here

The AEPJ welcomes new members

During the last general assembly, two new organisations joined the association

The AEPJ is very proud and happy to welcome the UCEI (Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane) and the Rede da Judiarias de Portugal as new members. They joined the association during the last general assembly, held on December 1st in Barcelona.
The UCEI, which has already been cooperating since many years with the AEPJ in the celebration of the European Day of Jewish Culture with an impressive program of activities and a huge number of participating cities, is the non-profit entity that represents 21 Jewish Communities in Italy and its members whose thousand-year presence in the country contributes to enrich the cultural and artistic heritage. Its main purpose is to promote the unity of the Italian Jews ensuring the continuity and development of the Jewish heritage in the religious, spiritual, cultural and social fields. The UCEI recognises the central role of the State of Israel with regards to contemporary Jewish identity, and therefore strives to strengthen the relations with Israel, the Diaspora and with any other entity representing Judaism and Jewish organization in the Italian institutions and organizations of an international character.
As to the Rede da Judiarias de Portugal (Network of Portuguese Jewish Quarters) is a public association ruled by private law, with the aim to act together in defending the urban, architectural, environmental, historical and cultural heritage with regards to the Jewish legacy. The association, founded in 2010, intends to combine the recovery of history and heritage with the promotion of tourism, as well as to reveal an aspect of the Portuguese and Peninsular identity. The Network is currently formed by the following 19 cities: Alenquer, Belmonte, Castelo Branco, Castelo de Vide, Elvas, Évora, Fornos de Algodres, Freixo Espada à Cinta, Guarda, Lamego, Leiria, Lisboa, Penamacor, Penedono, Sabugal, Tomar, Torres Vedras, Trancoso, Vila Nova Foz Côa.
The AEPJ is convinced that both associations will add valuable inputs towards achieving the goals of the organization, and is looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership.

French Town Unveils Hidden Jewish Treasures

A town near Strasbourg unveiled dozens of Judaica items hidden before the Holocaust and discovered during the renovation of a former synagogue.

The recently discovered items were presented to the public last week. They had been hidden at what is now the new cultural center of Dambach-la-Ville, a town of 2,000 in eastern France, the L‘Alsace daily reported.
Members of the town’s former Jewish community hid the cache of thousands of items —including old Torah scrolls and texts from the 16th century— in the space of a double ceiling designed especially for concealment, according to the report.
Among the findings are 250 mapot, or wimpels—strips of cloth that were wrapped around Jewish babies during their circumcision and then decorated with their names and deposited for safekeeping. The oldest mappah found at Dambach was dated to 1614. The oldest item found at the former synagogue was a ruined Torah scroll dating back to 1592.
Jean-Camille Bloch, the vice president of the SHIAL historical society on Jewish presence in the Alsace-Lorraine region, was quoted by L’Alsace as saying some of the items recovered are worth hundreds of dollars.
The French government evacuated tens of thousands of Frenchmen from the Alsace-Lorraine region, including 14,000 Jews, when World War II broke out in 1939, according to the Yad Vashem Holo¬caust Museum in Jerusalem.
Due to the evacuation, only about 10 percent of the Alsace-Lorraine Jewish population of 20,000 perished in the Holocaust. (JTA)

Report from Serbia on the European Day of Jewish Culture 2013

For the complete report and photos, please turn to the attached PDF file

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_113.pdf

Another year, Serbia has successfully participated in the European Day of Jewish Culture. A great variety of activities have been organised in the following Serbian cities: Pančevo, Novi Sad, Subotica, Kosovska Mitrovica and Zemun and Beograd (together).

The European Day of Jewish Culture 2013 in Alsace

Report by J.P.Lambert (original text in French: see attached PDF file)

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_112.pdf

The European Day of Jewish Culture lies now behind us. The Day has passed well, with brilliant success in Thann or Schirrhoffen, for example, with moving instants, such as in Mackenheim, and a few disappointments: very few visitors in Ettendorf for example.
The goal of 5000 visitors will be reached, and possibly even amply surpassed, which is quite good, since this year we have not presented any exhibition stretching over several weeks.
A very positive point:
The very fine media coverage has enabled us to reach one of our goals, the first, which is to raise awareness among Alsatians about the problem of preserving their Jewish heritage.
A few observations:
Visitors are mainly local, and the local advertisements – in the local pages of newspapers, on local television- are crucial for the levels of attendance.
There have been appearing certain signs of saturation, such as in Villé.
The Open Doors on occasion of the National Heritage Day attract a huge number of interested visitors, more than on occasion of the EDJC, often in the form of quick, curious glimpses in case of the former, whereas the latter attracts visitors because of its activities.

A meeting is planned in order to prepare for the future
Preparing for the future by pooling our experiences: Patrick Blum in Ettendorf for example, has shown that a good implanting of tomb stones protects them.
Preparing for the future by thinking about the future route of Jewish heritage.
Preparing for the future by trying to come up with ideas to help our partners to enhance their restored but unused synagogues.
Preparing for the future by pondering on ways and means to save the books and objects we have left and have not yet been pilfered.
My greatest joy today is to see that rejuvenated teams are being set up -even if no one is a baby-, working together on this great route which is the defense of the Jewish heritage in Alsace, a heritage which has marked and is still marking our region. In spite of violently hostile periods between the human components of Alsace, co-existence has often been peaceful. May this example be followed here and else-where.
Let me mention a few teams:
The Society of the History of the Jews of Alsace, where a changeover from Freddy Raphaël to Jean-Camille Bloch has taken place. The construction of the genizah of the synagogue in Dambach is his work.
The Association of Friends of the Museum of Bouxwiller, well shouldered by Gilbert Weil.
The Friends of the Synagogue of Thann, very active with regards to the building work being carried out at the synagogue.
The Historic and Contemporary Jewish Art Fund of the Haut-Rhin, who will monitor the restructuring of the collections housed by the Bartholdi Museum and the sanctuary of Pfastatt.
The members of B’nai B’rith Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse are increasingly becoming involved with the “heritage” commissions.
The members of the Historical Society of Reichshoffen, who are very active searching for a use to give to the synagogue of Reichshoffen.
The Historical Society for the Transmission of the Memory of Durmenach, dedicated to the safeguarding of the memory, including the material, of what once had been a great and fine community.
The Friends of the Synagogue of Ingwiller, who has managed to present the magnificent newly restored stained-glass windows of the synagogue.
And of course the consistories of the Bas-Rhin and the Haut-Rhin, as well as all our communities, with special mention of the community of Belfort, the nearly (or truly?) Alsatian one.
Finally, in order to prepare well for 2014, I would like to remind you that the intended subject matter evolves around:
Women in Judaism
The date of the EDJC has not been fixed yet. The possibilities, to my way of thinking, are the following:
Return to the first Sunday of September
Fusion with the Heritage Days, with the risk of losing our media impact
Change to Spring, for example June 10th, after Shavuot (let’s avoid Omer…)
We will bring this issue to mind on November 17th (the decision by the AEPJ will be in December)

Very cordially,
Jean Pierre Lambert
October 14th 2013

The winning picture of the photographic contest in Italy

“Rebirth”, by Giuliana Ghelarducci (image above)

In the course of the celebration of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2013, on September 29th, the winner of the fifth edition of the photographic contest "Focus on the Jewish world", this year dedicated to the theme "Nature and the Jewish tradition" was chosen.
The jury, composed by Eva Bassi, Jackie Blanga, Silvia Guastalla, Alberto Jona Falco, Paola Mortara, and AEPJ member Annie Sacerdoti has awarded Giuliana Ghelarducci, from Livorno, the first prize for her photograph “Rebirth”. Special mention of the jury has been awarded to the pictures "Spring of Peace" by Mariangela Braghiera also from Livorno, and "Birkat Hahammah" by Dikla Recanati from Tel Aviv.
Further information at

The European Day of Jewish Culture 2013 in Italy

In the picture: Italy's President, Giorgio Napolitano (left), with the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna (right).

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_110.pdf

(Italian version in attached PDF file)
Despite the rain - in some cases real storms – that has befallen Italy’s north and central regions on Sunday, September 29th , the European Day of Jewish Culture has, however, enjoyed a good turnout of visitors, tens of thousands of people who have travelled to 71 Italian places that offered guided tours, performances, exhibitions , "rehearsals " and routes to explore the Jewish culture.
The “highlight” among the events of the day was certainly the inauguration of the celebration in the presence of President Giorgio Napolitano, which took place in Naples, chosen to be the "ringleader" of the 2013 edition.
The Head of State attended the opening ceremony at Villa Pignatelli, this elegant Naples building, listening to the greetings and speeches by the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna , by Vice-President Roberto Jarach, and representatives of the Jewish community of Naples. The event has been commented on many television and radio programs, as well as in national newspapers , with a significant space dedicated to images of this event, which has taken an important relevance and resonance in Italy.
There are many major events in this edition to mention: from the inauguration of the restoration of an ancient Jewish quarter in Alghero, Sardinia, to the festival of the kosher kitchen in Rome, passing through many places that , from north to south , have offered concerts, shows , excursions , exhibitions and paths of knowledge , with hundreds of events properly advertised due to good media coverage.
Standing out among these is the festival "Jewish and the city" in Milan , which has involved the citizens during four days in a "full immersion" in Jewish culture , with the participation of many thousands of visitors and the presence of prominent intellectuals , artists and journalists .
On the whole, this has been a beautiful and important edition, which has satisfied the public and delighted organizers and locations, already awaiting the EDJC 2014.

By Marco Di Porto, Dipartimento Informazione e Relazioni Esterne, Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane
Photo from

Huge success of the European Day of Jewish Heritage 2013

Another year, the EDJC has gathered a large public in 21 different European countries.
From the first reports we have received, the different activities and events, held under the motto "Jewish Heritage and Nature", have counted on an enthusiastic and numerous participation.

While we are awaiting the detailed participation numbers, we present you here the first of the reports, which has been sent to us by the organizers of the EDJC in the United Kingdom:

“Great start to B’nai B’rith’s fortnight-long European Days of Jewish Culture & Heritage activities
Sunday 15th September :
Despite the bad weather, B’nai B’rith UK’s 13th annual European Days of Jewish Culture & Heritage got off to a great start on Sunday 15th September with a wide range of activities and events, with many of the synagogues following this year’s theme of ‘Judaism and the Natural World’, by opening up their Succah to the public and explaining the meaning behind the Succah, and the lulav and etrog.
20 eager walkers gathered outside the Hampstead Theatre to embark on a fascinating journey around ‘Jewish Hampstead’, which took them through streets that echoed with the tales of Jewish refugees, who escaped from Germany and Austria and came to live in the area. Guide, Rachel Kolsky, enthralled the group with her detailed knowledge and enthusiasm, interweaving her talk with B’nai B’rith history. She pointed out key buildings and monuments each accompanied by choice anecdotes, including the Central School of Speech and Drama, Belsize Square Synagogue, Freud Museum and much more. At the end of the tour, the group were warmly welcomed at the premises of Leo Baeck Lodge, where refreshments were laid on for them and President Alex Faiman explained a little of the history and the humanitarian work that the Lodge funds. Jean Etherton, who took part in the walk said: “Our sincere thanks to Alex Faiman and Philippa Strauss for organising the hospitality, which provided such a perfect ending to our walk.”
Bevis Marks Synagogue reported a good turnout of visitors, better than in previous years, with a group of almost 40 people attending their open day.
The LJCC had a very busy day with visitors to their ‘Art House’ exhibition at Ivy House, showcasing artists in the community. The exhibition runs until the 18th October.
Ivor Nadel reported that Hampstead Synagogue had a small group of visitors, 3 of whom weren’t Jewish and he was pleased that he was able to talk to all of them and answer individual questions.
West London Synagogue had a particularly lovely service on the first day of Succot, which was also attended by about 25 representatives from various church organisations. The Succah itself looked beautiful and, other than the usual display of vegetables, fruit and flowers, 'lanterns' with 'shalom' in different languages had been suspended from the roof. After the kiddush, Rabbi Helen Freeman took the visitors back into the synagogue for a talk about Judaism and the significance of the Succah.
Around the UK, Cheltenham Hebrew Congregation were delighted that 250 visitors came for their synagogue’s open day. There was a great buzz of conversation and discussion between the guests (of all ages) and the team of hosts.
Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation local historian and guide, Gordon Franks, reported almost 170 visitors to their open day, most of whom were not Jewish. Gordon said: “There was a real buzz all day and many visitors stayed on after the open day to ask questions.”
Tony Reese, President of Exeter Synagogue, was very pleased that 100 visitors attended their open day straight after Yom Kippur. They had secured coverage for their event on local radio and publicised it through the Devon Faith & Belief Forum and via the Christian Friends of Israel’s database.
Reading Hebrew Congregation had an excellent attendance of nearly 150 people at their synagogue’s open day, which was well publicised in local libraries. Visitors included the Chair and Honorary Secretary of the Berkshire Historical Society.
Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogue were pleased to have over 50 visitors, most of whom were not Jewish, to their open day, including a large coach party.
In Oxford, three walking tours took place during the day, “Jewish Oxford: Medieval and Modern”, held in conjunction with Oxford Heritage, each fully booked and attended by 40 people. Heritage tours of Jewish Oxford are incredibly popular and are also run throughout the year. Oxford Synagogue also held an open day, including a display about Succot for schools, which attracted over 100 visitors.
Gabriel Lancaster MBE, Life President at Chatham Memorial Synagogue reported: “Despite the fact that our open day was the day after Yom Kippur, over 100 people attended, including a wonderful group of 10 people from a nearby African church, who came dressed in fantastically colourful ceremonial robes! It was one of our most successful open days to date.”
Liverpool’s Old Hebrew Congregation reported that their open day was very successful as they had 200 visitors spread over 3 tours at the shul. Unfortunately, their other site, Deane Road Cemetery, only received about 15 visitors as the weather was very challenging.
Ramsgate Montefiore Synagogue reported a good show of almost 90 visitors. There was a steady stream of guests on the day, 95% of whom were not Jewish.
Wednesday 18th September:
The Wiener Library ran a special tour and a talk, ‘Laying down new roots: the Wiener Library 2 years on’, to mark the second anniversary of the Library’s move to their new premises in Russell Square. They were delighted with the response and attendees enjoyed exploring some of the Library’s new acquisitions and learning about their expanding education and outreach work.
Sunday 22 September:
Edgware and District Reform Synagogue held a wonderful talk which was filmed for the only Jewish-interest TV channel, ‘Jewish News One’. Heritage Days co-ordinator, Barbara Nathan, gave an excellent interview to the journalist. Tea was served in the Succah after an explanation about its purpose and the Rabbi is now keen to put on an event for next year for the ‘Women in Judaism’ theme.
Bevis Marks synagogue took part in Open House weekend and over 1,000 people visited during the day. The majority of visitors were not Jewish.
Abraham Lewin Lodge held a ‘Tea in the Succah’ event at Enfield and Winchmore Hill Synagogue, which was very successful and attended by almost 40 people. Rabbi Suffrin gave a short talk on the signifigance of the Lulav and Etrog, and the group arranged music with the guitar and singing from Max Witriol. The weather as so warm that tables and chairs were also set out in the garden.
Leon Silver at the East London Central Synagogue reported that the turnout on Sunday 22nd September was very good. It coincided with Open House weekend and over 250 people came. A large group also attended the shul’s interfaith celebration on Sunday 29th September to mark the shul’s 90th anniversary. Speakers included the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the Bishop of Stepney and representatives from the Muslim and Hindu communities.
Around the UK:
Bradford Synagogue had a wonderful open day, to which 100 people came and almost 50 came on a walking tour of Jewish Bradford. The shul also launched the Bradford Jewish Heritage Trail which was a great success. They were so delighted with the response that they hope to do something again next year - maybe a different walk and a chance to explore the historic Reform Jewish Cemetery.
The photos will be uploaded to their website: They also secured coverage in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
Monday 23rd September:
Stanmore Synagogue were delighted to welcome the Stanmore Little Gems nursery group to their open day, with members of the B'nai B'rith Yitzhak Rabin lodge in attendance, to help them perform the mitzvah of the lulav. They thoroughly enjoyed the slices of apple and honey cake they were offered. The Succah looked very colourful and fortunately the weather was clement!
Later in the day, a group from the Stanmore Shul Art Class, and some non-Jewish visitors from the Bushey Baptist Church came along, who were well informed and delighted to be in a Succah. They hope to arrange a visit from their church to the synagogue at some time in the future, which fulfils one of the aims of the Heritage Days: bringing the outside community in and helping to improve interfaith relations.

Tuesday 24th September:
A tour of the magnificent 9-acre Garden at Lambeth Palace, arranged by the Shlomo Argov Lodge, was oversubscribed. Led by the Head Gardener, Alastair Cook, the group was shown the historic buildings, learning about the contribution of each Archbishop to the development of the beautiful gardens and the large lawn used for receptions, helicopter landings (for its neighbour, St. Thomas’s Hospital) and by the Archbishop’s family! At the end of the visit, the President of the Lodge, Doreen Wolf, presented the assistant to the Archbishop’s Inter-Religious Affairs Adviser, with Alan Webber’s book on the history of First Lodge.
Sunday 29th September:
The New West End synagogue reported that their open day went extremely well with 124 people attending. They had posted leaflets in local streets and the vicar had announced it in the local church. They also put an "open day" notice outside. Some members also came as it is the one occasion when the treasures of the synagogue are brought out. Henry would like to know asap the date for next year. The previous week, during Open House weekend, they received 317 visitors.
Sandys Row synagogue reported that 56 people came to their open day. For Open House weekend the previous weekend, 667 people visited.
Barbara Nathan, joint B’nai B’rith UK Coordinator for EDJCH with Valerie Bello, for the past 13 years, commented: “We believe that heritage plays an increasingly significant role in our national life, strengthening people’s connection with their locality, making them conscious of their history and identity, and forging bonds between individuals and their communities.
We're encouraged that many people enjoyed the events on Sunday. Some events received non-Jewish visitors of all ages and, of course, we're always delighted when this potential for interfaith understanding is achieved, while providing a rare opportunity for our own community to explore our heritage. We're looking forward to welcoming large crowds to events, open days and guided walks taking place across the next two weeks, when even more Jewish heritage sites will be open in London and around the UK. Details of all the events are listed on the downloadable PDF from our website:”. “

Photographic contest for the European Day of Jewish Culture in Milan (Italy)

Deadline to submit proposals: August 31st 2013

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_107.pdf

The Photographic Archive of Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica
Contemporanea Onlus {CDEC] together AEPJ European Association for the
Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage, launch the
edition of the European Photographic Contest on the theme
Jewish heritage & nature
A prize ceremony and the exhibition of finalist photographs will be held in Milan
on September 29, 2013 during the European Day of Jewish Culture .
Please check the attached PDF file for participating conditions.
More information on this site

Instagram contest during the European Day of Jewish Culture in Catalonia (Spain)

The Tourist Board Costa Brava Girona and the towns of Besalú, Castelló d’Empúries and Girona are launching a photographic contest based on Jewish heritage and the activities taking place during the EDJC 2013 in these cities.

Anybody publishing photos at Instagram with the tags #culturajueva2013 #incostabrava or #inpyrenees (depending on geographic position), and being a follower of the profile @costabravapirineu at Instagram can participate in the contest.
The photos –either details or general views- have to be original and creative, and have to be inspired in Jewish subjects and the activities proposed by the towns of Besalú, Castelló d’Empúries and Girona on occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2013.
Details and conditions soon on this website.

Getting ready for the European Day of Jewish Culture 2013

On September 29th, the 14th edition of the EDJC will take place all over Europe with a variety of different activities and events.

With more than 20 participating countries this year, the programs of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland are already online here on our website.
Other programs will be following within the next days and weeks. Check our “european day of jewish culture” section to find out details!

2nd ERENSYA Summit in Turkey

From June 3rd to 7th, Istanbul and Izmir are the venues for the second encounter of Sephardic communities from all over the world

The ERENSYA platform has been founded by Centro Sefarad-Israel in order to establish and strengthen the bonds between Spain and the Sephardic communities spread all over the world. Individual projects of this platform deal with culture, coexistence and academic issues in order to promote a wide-spread knowledge of the Sephardic culture.
At this second summit – the first having been held in Bulgaria two years ago-, representatives of the main Sephardic communities will present their initiatives in these fields.
The meeting is organised in cooperation with the Spanish Consulate in Istanbul, the Cervantes Institute in Istanbul, the Sephardic Centre Istanbul, the Sephardic Cultural Association of Izmir, the City Council of Izmir, the Jewish community of Izmir, the Spanish Embassy in Turkey, the Three Cultures Foundation, and the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, a founding member of the AEPJ.

Opening of the exhibition “Yossel of Rosheim” at the Council of Europe

The opening took place last Tuesday, April 23rd at the Palais de l’Europe, in Strasbourg

The travelling exposition dedicated to Yossel of Rosheim has been presented at the prestigious Foyer of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, during the parliamentary session. The initiative has been supported by the Ambassador of France at the Council of Europe, Mr. Laurent Dominati, who has invited the members of this institution, as well as local personalities and members of the Hirschler Loge.

Both the General Secretaire of the CoE, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, and his deputy, Ms. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni have honoured the speech of the ambassador with their presence, as well as the President of the Parlamentary Assembly, Mr. Jean-Claude Mignon, among some sixty other guests.

The exhibition, which is complemented with documents from the Renaissance period, where Yossel of Rosheim had been a contemporary of, will stay at the Palais de l’Europe during three weeks. In France it has already been on show at the médiathèque in Rosheim, at the History Museum of Haguenau, at the Humanist Library of Sélestat, at the headquarters of the regional Government of Alsace, and it will continue its journey to the Dominician’s Library at Colmar in 2014.
The German version has already been successfully on show at Erfurt, Speyer and Breisach, and can be seen in Essen this summer, and then in Augsburg, towards the end of this year.

Working seminar: Managing Jewish Immovable Heritage

The seminar will be taking place in Krakow (Poland) from April 23rd to 25th 2013

Some 80-85 participants from about 20 different countries will be discussing a wide range of issues regarding the care, maintenance, preservation, use and promotion of Jewish material heritage.
The AEPJ will be represented at this seminar by its general secretary, Mrs. Assumpció Hosta.
The seminar, which will take place at the Krakow Jewish Community Centre, is being convened by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, the David Berg Foundation; the Cahnman Foundation, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the World Monuments Fund, in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland; the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow; the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow; the Taube Foundation; and the European Council of Jewish Communities. The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad will also have a presence.

Video of the speech by Mr. Samuel Gruber.

The official poster of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2013

More than 100 voters have participated in the election of this year’s official EDJC poster. The winning proposal received a 60,5% of the votes.

The choice certainly wasn’t an easy one to make, since both design proposals –runner-ups of a pre-selection among all received proposals- are not only very pretty, but also perfectly reflect, in different ways, the relationship between Judaism and Nature.

Within a few days, the graphic details of the poster will be available for downloading from this website.

A big “thank you” to both designers and voters for their input!

First meeting of the representatives of the Culture Routes of the Council of Europe

Representatives of 20 certified routes participated in the meeting, which took place in Brussels on March 28th 2013

The Brussels office of the Council of Europe was the chosen venue for this first meeting of the representatives of the cultural routes with CoE certification, chaired by the elected spokesman of the routes, Mr. Antonio Barone (Phoenician’s Route).
Among the aims of this meeting were to devise joint strategies for issues of common interest between the routes and to create stronger links between their different levels of governance.
Another important issue is the representation of the routes in the Governing Board and the Committee of Member States of the Council of Europe.

Vote for this year's EDJC poster

Everyone is invited to participate in the election of this year’s EDJC poster

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_99.pdf

Among all the proposals received for the poster of this year’s European Day of Jewish Culture, we present you the two pre-selected posters for you to vote your favourite.

Please use this easy-to-fill-in form
Deadline: April 5th 2013
Please note that only nominal votes will be valid!

You can download the enlarged versions of the poster options from the attached PDF file.

Poster proposals for the EDJC 2013

Some of the proposals we've received so far

We encourage you to send us some more poster proposals related to the 2013 topic: Jewish heritage and nature". The deadline is March 15th 2013.

Remember to check the briefing details before submitting it!

Annual General Meeting of the AEPJ

The annual General Meeting of the AEPJ took place on January 26th in Luxembourg.

The main issue of the meeting was the action plan 2013 of the association, in particular the celebration of the 14th edition of the European Day of Jewish heritage, as well as the further development of the European Route of Jewish Heritage. Another important part of the meeting was dedicated to financial issues such as budget and fundraising.
The venue of the meeting this year has been the abbey of Neumünster, headquarters of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, so that the board of directors of the AEPJ has seized the opportunity to have also an exchange of impressions with the head of the Institute, Ms. Penelope Denu.

“ROUTES OF SEPHARAD”- Discover and explore the Jewish heritage of Spain through the Internet

A joint project of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters and Google has been presented at the headquarters of Centro Sefarad-Israel in Madrid on December 19th 2012

The project, which is available in Spanish and English at, aims at promoting on an international level the Jewish heritage of the member cities of the Red de Juderías de España (Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters)by means of all the possibilities offered by the new technologies.
Internet users all around the world can now visit and make virtual tours through the 24 cities of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, stroll through their streets, discover outstanding heritage sites and cultural elements, and get to know the history behind all these, from one and the same platform.The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters has incorporated the Google Maps technology, geo-positioning the different places of interest and providing them with their respective historical documentation, which is displayed once the user clicks on one of the signalled places on the map. Besides, users can visualise any of these points on street level thanks to Street View.
Furthermore there is an option enabling users to find all this information by means of a comprehensive search panel, which divides the different sites according to their category and type, their geographic region or chronological period.
The technology supplied by Google enables the organisation of all these contents through maps and chronograms with different levels of information. There is a total of 523 sites, 910 chronological entries, 1.667 images, 67 informative texts and 138 comments in lexical voices, which users can access through a unique website which stores information spanning from the 3rd century till today.
We would like to invite you to discover a very little known part of Spanish history by taking a tour through the Jewish quarters of Ávila, Barcelona, Besalú, Cáceres, Calahorra, Castelló d’Empúries, Córdoba, Estella-Lizarra, Girona, Hervás, Jaén, León, Lucena, Monforte de Lemos, Oviedo, Palma, Plasencia, Ribadavia, Segovia, Seville, Tarazona, Toledo, Tortosa and Tudela.

Great success of the AEPJ workshop in Girona!

Under the title “From the European Day of Jewish Culture to the European Route of Jewish Heritage”, the workshop held between November 24th and 25th in Girona (Spain), gathered representatives from many different European institutions concerned with the preservation and promotion of Jewish heritage and culture.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_95.pdf

The different sessions dealt with issues such as pan-European coordination of Jewish heritage promotion, ways of promoting Jewish heritage locally, or the future of the European Routes of Jewish Heritage. Another session was dedicated to establish the date and subject matter of next year’s European Day of Jewish Culture.
The working sessions were complemented by an excursion to visit the Jewish quarters of Castelló d’Empúries, Besalú and Girona, all three of them members of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters – Routes of Sepharad.
All participants agreed on it having been a great opportunity not only to advance towards a better cooperation and coordination of efforts, but also to establish connections on a more direct and personalised level.
Please check the attached PDF file for the official report of the meeting.
The workshop was organised by the AEPJ with the support of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters – Routes of Sepharad, the City Council of Girona and the Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava-Pirineus.

From the European Day of Jewish Culture to the European Route of Jewish Heritage

November 24th and 25th, 2012. The city of Girona will welcome a group of experts coming from different European countries such as France, Italy, Slovenia, Portugal, Czeh Republic, Luxembourg and Spain, to work on the European Route of Jewish Heritage.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_94.pdf

The seminar will be focused on two main topics: on one hand, the preservation and use of heritage in the framework of the European Cultural Routes, which the AEPJ has been developing these last years under the guidance of the Council of Europe. On the other hand the improvement and promotion of the European Day of Jewish Culture, a project shared between more than twenty European countries, which this year has celebrated its 13th edition.

The European Route of Jewish Heritage was declared Major Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in 2005. One of the aims of this seminar is to put together the different initiatives of the participant countries, to get acquainted with models of good practice and to coordinate a common program. The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters contributes to this seminar its valuable experience in the management of cultural tourism.

In short, the seminar expects to consolidate the European platform for presenting and promoting the public the historical, artistic, cultural, architectural and urban legacy of the Jewish heritage, as well as to encourage the research and study.

A visit to the ancient Jewish quarters of Girona, Besalú and Castelló d'Empúries, which will allow the participants to expand their knowledge on our history and Jewish heritage, is also a part of the program.

The Mayor of Girona and Chairman of the Board Patronat Call de Girona, Mr. Carles Puigdemont, and the President of the European Association for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage (AEPJ), Mr. François Moyse, will open the workshop at the Bonastruc ça Porta Centre on Sunday.

This meeting, organised by the AEPJ, has counted on the collaboration of the Patronat Call de Girona, the Girona City Council, the Tourist Board Girona-Costa Brava and the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters.

SAVE THE DATE: The AEPJ is pleased to announce the 2nd EDJC Workshop, to be held in Girona (Spain), on November 24th-25th

Everybody involved in the organisation of activities and events for the European Day of Jewish Culture, or planning to do so in the future, is welcome to attend this meeting.

“The European Day of Jewish Culture: Present and Future” is the title of this workshop, which will be dealing with issues such as date, subject matter and graphic image of the EDJC 2013, possible extension of the event, fund-raising, agreements, etc.
The meeting will take place on November 24th and 25th 2012, in Girona (Spain), where the AEPJ secretariat is located. A detailed program of the event will be available shortly, together with a link at Google Docs, where you can sign in for participation. Of course you will also be able to confirm your participation by email to
Travel arrangements will be at each participant’s charge, whereas accommodation and meals during the meeting will be provided by the AEPJ. Girona is easily reachable by low-cost flights, both directly or via Barcelona, a train ride of about an hour away.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Girona!

First Provisional Results of Participation at the European Day of Jewish Culture 2012

Take a look at the photos of the event at: EDJC Photo album 2012

With 2 countries – Bulgaria and Turkey- still pending to celebrate their edition of this year’s EDJC, and events still taking place in some other, we present you the first provisional overview of the visitors who joined us for the wealth of events and activities which have been organised on occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2012.

The growing importance of kosher wine production in Spain

There has been a lot of talk and comments on kosher wine lately, but generally there still persists quite some confusion, and many people, including professionals from the very same wine sector, ignore the term and its meaning.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_89.pdf

What does “kosher wine” mean?
Kosher is a Hebrew term and means “pure”; it is thus a wine which is apt to be consumed by followers of the Jewish religion, which establishes a series of regulations in the kashrut of the Torah. Its adequacy is determined by a certificate awarded by certain agencies, of which there are some three hundred all over the world.
The only difference between a kosher wine and other wines really lies in the fact that all stages of the process of production in the winery are carried out by practicing Jews, and that all products employed during this process are kosher, too.
There are two categories: if the wine has been pasteurised, it qualifies as mevushal, and may be handled by non-Jews, even though it will descend to a category of a lesser product of wine. If only Jews have intervened in its production, the wine qualifies as passover, and is therefore apt to be opened at Pesach, the most important Jewish religious festivity. It is these wines that are most interesting.
Besides Jewish consumers, kosher wines are also attracting an increasing number of aficionados all over the world, who consider them to warrant a sort of guarantee as to natural and rigorous elaboration of the wine.
Being kosher is like being biodynamic, or ecological, it opens the doors to export markets, and this is one of the reasons why, especially during the last decade, there have been appearing brands with this certification from all the main wine-producing regions in Spain

A stroll through the Vineyards of Sepharad
The mid-nineties saw the launch of kosher wines in Spain, with the cooperative Capçanes, in Tarragona, starting to produce its Peraj Ha’abib, considered one of the best kosher wines in the world.
During the last decade, more wineries and projects in Spain have joined it, amongst whose there is to point out ELVI WINES, managed by Anne Aletà and Moises Cohen, a Sephardic family which has become the most important producer of kosher wines in Spain, with wineries in different parts of the country: Ribera de Jucar, Rioja, Priorat, Alella, Monsant, Penedes and Utiel-Requena, with a wide range of quality wines, which have received prestigious prizes and honourable mentions all around the world.
Other wine-growing regions and wineries, such as Ramón Bilbao, Gonzalez Byass, Faustino, Tagonius, Fernández Arcaya, Ruiz Viñaspre, Vallformosa, Paternina and Garzal have joined in and have contributed to the establishment of this type of wine as a reference on an international level, so that countries such as the United States or, to a lesser degree, Israel, are buying nearly all the kosher wine produced in Spain.
The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters (Red de Juderías de España), within its endeavour to recover the Jewish culture and heritage of its cities, has launched different projects in order to promote gastronomy with Sephardic roots and kosher wine elaborated in Spain.
One of these projects is “Vineyards of Sepharad” (see attached PDF file) a tour of the vineyards and wineries producing kosher wine in Spain, as well as of those establishments committed to the recovery and promotion of the Jewish legacy of our cities, offering a range of activities related to kosher wine and Sephardic gastronomic culture.

Letter from the Director of the European Cultural Routes Institute

May - June 2012

The cultural routes programme has entered a wide-reaching period of renewal and intense activity. The aim is to strengthen the Council of Europe’s cultural routes programme by guaranteeing the quality and relevance of our routes and promoting the Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) among Council of Europe member states and beyond. To do this, we are working on new ideas and tools for enhancing routes capacities and increasing synergies between all our stakeholders, from grass roots to governments and from the public to professionals in cultural tourism.

You can read the full newsletter at the Council of Europe's website.

To access older issues, check the newsletter's page.

Call for papers: First International Conference “Jewish Heritage in Portugal”

Between November 18th to 20th 2012, the first international congress “Jewish Heritage in Portugal. Science. Culture. Knowledge.” will take place in Tomar (Portugal)

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_87.pdf

One of the goals of this conference is to discover and highlight new approaches to the subjects covered, making it possible to enrich our current knowledge as well as promoting an effective and pro-active exchange of ideas.
The call for the submission of contributions by researchers, professionals, experts and authors of works related to Jewish cultural heritage is now open.
Please check the attached PDF file for more details.

Exhibition « Yossel de Rosheim (1478-1554), entre l'unique et l'universel . Un juif engagé dans l'Europe de son temps et du notre »

On May 3rd, the exhibition “Josel of Rosheim , between the unique and the universal. A Jew committed to the Europe of his time and of ours”, will be opened in Strasbourg by the Minister and President of the Regional Council, Mr. Philippe Richter, at the Maison de la Région Alsace.

Under the patronage of Mrs. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, deputy General Secretary of the Council of Europe, and the AEPJ, this exhibition will be presented, between 2012 and 2013, in Strasbourg, Sélestat, Haguenau, Colmar and Mulhouse.
It consists of a series of illustrated panels explaining the life and works of Josel of Rosheim, elected representative of all Jews of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation before the towns, princes and emperors, and his historic, intellectual and religious background.
The exhibition is a French-German co-production, and thus also available in German. The German version is currently open to the public in Erfurt, at the Neue Synagoge, and will be the centre of events in several German and German-speaking cities, particularly cities where Josel had been staying.
Part of a continuity of the appreciation of the Jewish culture and heritage in Europe, the exhibition covers a certain geographic space: that of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which after the Middle Ages had received Jews in town and country. It is an area which nowadays is the space of European cooperation on a transnational scale which aims at setting an example among the European regions.
In a historical period of changes, Josel of Rosheim was chosen by the Jews to be their defendant. He was a great politician and thinker, but above all he was a good man, a man for whom ethics were the foundations of his actions, a man who believed in god, but also in mankind.
In our contemporary world, both similar and different, where the construction of a modern Europe is one of our most important tasks, Josel of Rosheim can be a source of inspiration.

From May 3rd to 25th 2012 at the Maison de la Région Alsace, 1, Place Adrien Zeller, Strasbourg. Opening times: from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm. Free entrance.

Deux mikvés à découvrir

An article by the Communauté Urbaine de

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): MCM.pdf

The mikveh or ritual bath is one of the most important elements of the Jewish community institutions. Two mikveh are part of this heritage open to the public.

First Belgrade Jewish sites tour

In the framework of the Tourist Guide International Day, in February  26th Makor Project will have its first Belgrade Jewish sites tour (walking + bus) with over 60 persons signed for this four hours tour. This will be part the Belgrade's European Day of Jewish Culture.
You can find more information at:
Makor web site

B'nai B'rith honour Valerie Bello and Barbara Nathan

It is perhaps Ralph Hofmann who has really got to the core of why B'nai B'rith's Heritage Days events are so important to diaspora Jewry. Ralph, who is the BBE President, was speaking at a presentation ceremony honouring Valerie Bello and Barbara Nathan for their joint efforts in organising this increasingly popular cross-communal event and achieving a success which has led to around ninety different events being staged each September in the UK.


He told an audience of around eighty BB members and individuals closely associated with the events that he considered Heritage Days to be the most important project in which the organisation is involved. He also remarked how serious he considers the spread of anti-Semitism in Europe today leading to a view that the presentation to both Jewry and, possibly more importantly, the wider community of the outstanding Jewish contribution to European culture is one of the ways of countering this threat. It was also, he said, a source of great pride that unlike our European counterparts who hold the event in one day, here in the UK the numerous happenings are spread over a fourteen day period involving a great deal of organisational effort

It was also entirely appropriate that Claude Bloch, of the Strasbourg Lodge, who actually founded the concept some fifteen years ago, flew over especially for the event. Claude is now the Honorary President of the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and her vitally important role in being the initiator of the idea was touched upon by all the speakers at the event. In a short address she referred to the events' importance in fostering social, moral and intellectual co-operation between the countries of Europe.

BBUK National President Jean Etherton opened the proceedings which were held at the West London Synagogue (itself one of the regular participants in Heritage Days) on Sunday 18th September by welcoming the attendees; including a number of BBE executive members who had also flown in to attend. She said: 'It is a great honour and great pleasure to welcome you all on this most auspicious occasion when Valerie Bello and Barbara Nathan are to receive awards from BBE for their outstanding work on the European Days of Culture and Heritage. It is an occasion when we can all take pride and naches from their wonderful achievements in the UK over the past twelve years.'

A short speech of welcome was performed by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, one of four ministers of the synagogue, who remarked on the close association that Valerie and her family had always fostered with the shul.

Expressing her profound thanks for the award which took the form of an attractive glass prism suitably inscribed, Valerie said: 'Barbara and I embarked on this journey, almost into the unknown, starting with just a few events on one day and reaching between 80-90 events in recent years over one or two weeks. None of this would have been possible without the enormous support we received from many of the people whom we are delighted to see with us today. One person, sadly, is missing - Audrey Faiman, who worked with us in the early days with such dedication and efficiency. We are also most grateful to Dr. Sharman Kadish, Director of Jewish Heritage UK, who advised us on our original list of heritage sites and who has been a constant source of knowledge and support ever since.

'I feel that the awards are not only for Barbara and me; they represent recognition of our hard-working loyal committee, without whom none of this could have been achieved. Their willingness and ability to take on a myriad of tasks has been outstanding. And, of course, I cannot express sufficiently my thanks to my team-mate, Barbara, whose exceptional ability has been the bedrock of our success.


'I should also like to pay a special tribute to our designer, Rob Trup who, from the outset, has designed the eye-catching designs of our leaflet and poster incorporating the annual theme with a British twist. And, on the subject of the Jewish press, I am happy to see Janet Levin, Editor of the highly successful cultural magazine, 'Jewish Renaissance', with us today. Janet has been very generous to us since the beginning in giving our programme of events excellent coverage in her magazine.

'One of the essentials of Heritage Days is partnership, for which B'nai B'rith with its cross-community ethos is ideally placed. Over the years close working relationships have been built up with synagogues right across the religious spectrum, all over the country, to whom we are most grateful for their enthusiastic co-operation - and perhaps I may be permitted to thank my own synagogue, where we are today, for their unfailing support in their participation and never saying "no" when asked to provide a venue for our events.

'The diversity of our rich cultural heritage can be seen in the participation of our communal institutions such as the Jewish museums, the Judaica Department of the British Library (thank you, IIana), the Ben Uri art gallery, Jewish Care with their Reminiscence Teas and the JMI, (remember 'Simcha on the Square' and 'Klezmer in the Park') whose new Chairman, Jennifer Jankel, is with us today; and outside our own community we have established relationships with national institutions, the heritage organisations, and, most importantly, we have reached out to the interfaith organisations, whose response has been extremely gratifying.
'And my dreams for the future? I'd like to see us involved with the Cultural Olympiad, as 2012 is such a significant year with the Olympics in the UK. I'd like to see us extend the European Route of Jewish Heritage in the UK and I'd like to reach out to our youth to encourage them to become interested and involved in what is their heritage, too. In conclusion, I wish our Administrators, Lydia Drukarz and Lara Pront, and our loyal committee (including Gerald Kirsch) every success. The future of Jewish Heritage Days is in safe hands.

Barbara Nathan, in her speech of thanks for the award, said she was a bemused awardee. She said: 'Bemused, because I find it quite amazing to be receiving an award, simply from hard work and constant effort over 12 years. How often does that happen to anyone?

'What began back in 1999 as a somewhat reluctant embarkation on uncharted seas, has developed into a journey around Europe and a new major project for B'nai B'rith UK, of which Valerie and I are, of course, very proud indeed. But this is much more a shining example of inspired teamwork, serendipity and sheer determination. From nothing, we have all together created a project with credibility and long-term viability. If you genuinely believe in the product, you can give it wings, as we have seen.

'So thank you B'nai B'rith UK for seeing sense last year and bringing in the highly professional Lydia to run the project, allowing Valerie and me to jump off the treadmill, take a deep breath and offer instead the benefit of a wider overview based on our experience. And, of course, thank you B'nai B'rith Europe for deciding to present us with an award, which we will always treasure.

'Just one word about Valerie herself - I'd like to announce publicly that she is a remarkable woman, as you probably already realize. She has an innate natural talent for instinctive public relations, with a wide circle of contacts whose names, titles and even family history, she can remember with total and enviable recall. And she does it this with infinite charm and compassion. She is also quite clearly dedicated to bringing the UK, kicking and screaming towards Europe. Culturally of course - not politically. That's another matter altogether.

'It is entirely due to her drive, back in 1999 when she was the Secretary General of BBE that the European Jewish Heritage Days project was brought to this country. She set up the CJI committee here, pulling us together and encouraging us to begin the project with our first printed leaflet detailing the events, published in the year 2000.

'I well recall Audrey and I saying to each other, rather desperately, "We just can't expand as much as Valerie would like, because we really don't think we can administer it all between us. It's an open-ended project." And it still is.

'But this is Valerie's strong point - she kept our noses to the grindstone. And year by year, we were able to pull together the Jewish Heritage Days every September.'

But if there was one over-riding impression that emerged from the ceremony which emphasised the importance of B'nai B'rith's Heritage Days events is was Valerie's simple statement of fact: 'It is inspiring to realise that groups of us in up to 30 European countries are working together to welcome the wider public to discover and enjoy our heritage.'

Among the guests who had flown to London to be present at the event were Erika Van Gelder (Senior Vice-President BBE) from Amsterdam and Derrick Smouha (Chairman of the Constitution Committee and Electoral Commission) from Geneva.

2012 - A quarter of a century of Council of Europe Cultural

Message from the Director of the European Cultural Routes Institute

Just after my appointment as Director of the European Cultural Routes Institute (EICR) and Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe’s Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) in November 2011, I had a unique opportunity to meet many of the cultural routes key players at the annual Cultural Routes Advisory Forum on 27-28 November here in Luxembourg. I look forward to meeting others during the year at various major events and meetings.

A dynamic partial agreement. At the end of 2010, the Council of Europe renewed its engagement with cultural routes by creating an enlarged partial agreement, open for broad accession by countries committed to furthering the Organisation’s involvement in cultural heritage and to supporting high-quality cultural tourism for all European citizens. The current fourteen member states have expressed their readiness to give political guidance and contribute financially to the programme. With the help of all our stakeholders, including our local partners and especially with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, sponsor of the Cultural Routes Institute, we will work hard to ensure new accessions to the agreement in 2012, one of the main objectives of the 2011-2013 pilot phase. A new website will be online by the summer.

Changes for the European Cultural Routes Institute. In 2012 we will be working on a strategic plan to optimise our resources, while reviewing our internet presence and working methods and creating new visibility tools..

Michel Thomas-Penette retired as Director at the end of 2011, but we will certainly still benefit from his advice and companionship in the future in different contexts.
In the New Year, Aurore Mallet decided to leave the Institute to take on new challenges in the heritage field. We will miss her and wish her every success.

A successful European partnership. The European Union, our major partner in developing concrete projects, has renewed its support with a new Joint Programme to follow up the recommendations of the 2011 study of the impact of routes networks on SME’s. This programme will serve, in particular, to produce a manual of routes management in cooperation with academics, which we hope to follow up from the autumn with one or more training seminars. The Institute is also providing advice and technical support to several European Commission projects.

Working with the routes. Some routes are in the process of evaluation by the Institute and/or a team of independent experts selected after last year’s call. A total of no less than 25 evaluations of existing routes and new proposals have now been carried out, and will be examined by the partial agreement’s Bureau and Governing Board at meetings on 15-16 February and in April. The assessments contain very constructive guidance and practical advice for future action, and we look forward to discussing the results with each network individually.

Events in 2012. During the coming months the Institute will be holding a series of technical meetings concerning the evaluation process, our expert and university networks, the preparation of statutory intergovernmental meetings and discussion of new proposals for routes. In the second half of the year, equipped with new communication and training tools, we will participate in events on the international cultural tourism calendar, building up to the Advisory Forum in November for which a host will be chosen in the coming weeks. In January, I attended the AGM of the European Route of Jewish Heritage and in February I will be travelling Brno, in the Czech Republic, to attend the Mozart Ways’ AGM.

So all in all, a challenging and exciting 25th anniversary year ahead!

Penelope Denu
Director of the EICR
Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes


European Day of Jewish Culture 2012

This year again, we would be honoured to receive your graphic proposal for the poster, for the 13th European Day of Jewish Culture, whose subject matter is:


The world knows how good Jews are at self-deprecation when facing adversity and in all situations no matter how harsh.

This subject can be dealt with in all its forms: Comic books, Cartoons, Jokes, Cinema, Theatre, Writers, Others

The purpose of the poster is to guarantee promotion before and during the event and to signpost the sites.
A commission composed by a specialist on graphics, a representative of the European Council and a board member of AEPJ, will choose the winner proposal.
The poster will have to be sent to within March 1st,  2012.
These are the main requirements:
- the poster has a vertical orientation
- the image should have enough resolution in order to print the poster in a 70 x 100 cm size
- layers should be left open in order to enable every country to edit and adapt texts and logos.
- The use of the logo of the AEPJ and the Council of Europe is obligatory.
- The name and the web site of the author will be published on the poster for promotion and visibility.

Contact us to get the logos:


New title for the next European Day of Jewish Culture

(Below the french text)

Thank you for sending your proposals for the theme of the next European Day of Jewish Culture. We had a great participation with almost 30 titles, which have been sent to us not just by email, but also using new social medias such as Facebook and Google Docs.
Once all the proposals were attentively looked at, the AEPJ's General Assembly voted for the theme of Humour and defined the title of the next 13th European Day of Jewish culture:

The world knows how good Jews are at self-deprecation when facing adversity and in all situations no matter how harsh.

This subject can be dealt with in all its forms: Comic books, Cartoons, Jokes, Cinema, Theatre, Writers, Others

This year again, we would be honoured to receive your graphic proposal for the poster.
Further information will be available next week.

Nous vous remercions sincèrement de nous avoir envoyé vos propositions pour le thème de la prochaine Journée Européenne de la Culture Juive. Nous avons eu une grande participation, avec presque 30 propositions, envoyées non seulement par mail, mais aussi à travers des réseaux sociaux comme Facebook et Google Docs.
Une fois que toutes les propositions ont été étudiées attentivement, l'Assemblée Générale de l'AEPJ a voté pour le thème de l'humour et a défini le titre de la 13me Journée Européenne de la Culture Juive:
Le monde connait l'auto-dérision du peuple juif face à l'adversité et dans toutes les situations aussi pénibles qu’elles soient.
Le sujet peut être traité dans toutes ses formes: bandes dessinées, blagues, cinéma, théâtre, auteurs, autres.

Nous serions honnorés de recevoir, comme l'année dernière, vos propositions graphiques pour le poster.
De plus amples informations seront disponibles la semaine prochaine.

Survey about the European Jewish Culture and Heritage, thank you for your cooperation

We have been launching a survey about the European Jewish Culture and Heritage, in order to develop the European Route of Jewish Heritage.
We would like to thank you for your cooperation and we will keep you update.
If anyone of you need further information, please check our facebook or contact
If you would like to send us detailed info about your jewish heritage we would very thankful.

European Day of Jewish Culture 2012: Subject matter

As has become customary during the last few years, the AEPJ very much values your input when it comes to choosing the subject matter of the next EDJC: either by suggesting a subject matter, by debating the proposals, or by sharing your ideas and comments with us.

For this purpose we have created this Google Document for you to follow and participate in the process of deciding the subject matter for next year's event (deadline December 9th).
We count on your participation - your opinion counts!

New AEPJ fan page at Facebook

This week we have opened our new fan page at the social network Facebook, in order to be in touch European-wide with people who are interested in Jewish culture. This platform we will not only act as a means of sharing the most important news of our association, but also as a new space of contact and exchange of information with other associations of similar endeavour.

You can find us at:

Visit us soon!

Presentation of a new resource in AEPJ

Dear friends,
We are pleased to introduce to you the new person in charge and community manager of the AEPJ.

Dalia Sciama, who is replacing Ariane in her duties, and who will be at your disposal from now on at

At this new stage, the AEPJ is establishing the foundations of a more professional structure of its organisation, which will enable us to reach a higher level of feedback and interaction, as well as more frequent updating of our website and social networks.

Our aim is to be for you a veritable tool both for coordinating the European Day of Jewish Culture and for helping to establish the European Route of Jewish Heritage in your countries, cities and communities.

At this point we would like to express our gratitude to Ariane for the tasks she has been carrying out these past years with regards to the European Day of Jewish Culture, and you will still be able to reach her as always at the secretariat of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters.

Le sport européen à l'épreuve du nazisme. Des JO de Berlin aux JO de Londres (1936-1948)

Exhibition at Mémorial de la Shoah

Inauguration on Monday, November 7th 2011

More information at:

European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage 2011 United Kingdom

Overview – Part 2
5 – 11 September

The momentum of the first day of events continued throughout the rest of Heritage Week.

One of Israel’s leading educators, Rabbi Ofek Meir, Deputy Director of the Leo Baeck Education Centre in Haifa, the keynote speaker at the Leo Baeck College seminar on ‘The Future of the Cheder’, brought forward some innovative ideas on the future of Jewish education, stimulating useful discussion in the break-out groups.

The significant Jewish contribution to the British Armed Services through the centuries was once again on display at the Jewish Military Museum, whilst over at the Jewish Museum, a fascinating exhibition, ‘I didn’t know he was Jewish!’ – Behind the Scenes of British Cinema’,
revealed the amazing story of the involvement of Jews in the film industry. At the Ben Uri Art Gallery, a lecture on the exhibition of the artist Josef Herman was packed to capacity.

The ever-popular Jewish Music Institute’s ‘Klezmer in the Park’ in Regent’s Park, attracted literally hundreds of people to a wonderful afternoon alive with music, singing and dancing – and, of course, delicious picnics!

At Princelet Street Synagogue in London’s East End, Michael Horovitz OBE, enthralled a large crowd of people, many of whom had come from all parts of the world, with his poetry and prose. A few streets away, the Fieldgate Street Synagogue welcomed many people on both Sundays, including a mixed group of Christians, Muslims and Jews. The Jewish East End Celebration Society held a well attended AGM at the East London Central Synagogue, followed by singing and refreshments. For the energetic, there was a choice of Jewish heritage walks through the City of London.

Further to the west of London, visitors to the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Lauderdale Road included a non-Jewish gentleman who wished to research his Jewish roots, a non-Jewish neighbour who was just curious, a devout Christian who wanted to know more about Judaism and a non-Jewish Portuguese lady; and a group from the Shlomo Argov Lodge were delighted with their private guided tour of the beautiful Grade I listed New West End Synagogue.

Our second Sunday coincides with the annual Cheetham Festival which celebrates the multi-faith community in Manchester and is organised by a partnership between B’nai B’rith, Engish Heritage and Faith Network Manchester. The Manchester Jewish Museum and the Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogues are enthusiastic participants and the Education Officer of the Museum spoke about the Open Days in an early morning broadcast on Radio Manchester, resulting in a constant flow of visitors, possibly also attracted by the Kosher food on offer! An ecumenical service commemorating 9/11 was held in the synagogue at the end of the day.

In the regions our association with the national English Heritage Open Days helps to publicise the EDJCH to a wider public. Singers Hill Synagogue in Birmingham had a most successful morning, the highlight of which was a concert of Jewish music by the Kol Kinor choir, which had been well publicised in the local press. Another ‘High Victorian’ synagogue, Middle Street in Brighton, also welcomed many visitors, as did Princes Road Synagogue in Liverpool, where Dr. Sharman Kadish promoted her new extensively researched book on ‘The Synagogues of Great Britain and Ireland’. There were three separate tours of the synagogue but as numbers were limited, they reluctantly had to turn people away.

Guided tours of the Montefiore Synagogue and Mausoleum in Ramsgate, Kent, introduced visitors to the life and work of the philanthropist, Sir Moses Montefiore. They were then encouraged to see the nearby Grade I Pugin Grange and St. Augustine’s Church as both buildings were built as personal expressions of faith and the founders of each are buried on the site of their own faith. In Canterbury, The Old Synagogue, now part of the King’s School, drew a large number of visitors. Most of the visitors to the Chatham Memorial Synagogue were non-Jewish and at the Exeter Synagogue they welcomed a Christian group from Devon.

The Cheltenham Synagogue, a true gem, was delighted with its record attendance. Its visitors were impressed with the peaceful atmosphere and a couple of people even found their Jewish roots. The synagogue has just published a book titled ‘The Hebrew Congregation of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and Stroud’. Visitors to the Norwich Synagogue found it buzzing with ‘”masses of things going on”. However, Plymouth Synagogue, the oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in the English-speaking world, had unfortunately to compete with the Americas Day Cup (an important day in the boating world) and a public memorial service for 9/11 on the Mayflower steps.

Advance publicity was given on various websites, some local radio stations and in the local press and after the Open Days, reports appeared in ‘The Jewish Chronicle’ and regional newspapers.

Valerie Bello


From September 19th to 21th, Sephardic culture and tradition was at the centre of a summit which brought together participants from all parts of the world.

ERENSYA is a project created and promoted by Sefarad-Israel, a Spanish public institution, in order to promote encounters between Spain and the Sephardic communities in the Eastern Diaspora. The Jewish communities of Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Rumania, Serbia and Turkey are, in their origin, the result of the Diaspora of the Sephardic Jews, who had settled in these territories, then belonging to the Ottoman Empire.
During five centuries these communities have preserved the language and the traditions of Sefarad, transmitting them from generation to generation, thus setting an example of collective memory and of loyalty to tradition.

A few years ago, the ERENSYA platform has begun to bring together the different communities, and this September, the first global summit has been taking place in Bulgaria. It was organised by Sefarad-Israel, the Spanish Embassy in Bulgaria and Shalom-Bulgaria, in cooperation with Cervantes Institute Sofia, the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters (a founding member of the AEPJ), Fundación Tres Culturas, Casa del Mediterráneo, and the Israelite Embassy in Bulgaria.

The organisation had prepared a varied and interesting program, which began on September 19th with a welcome drink at Sofia Synagogue, followed by the opening speeches of the authorities, including the mayor of Sofia, Ms. Yordanka Fandakova, and the Spanish Ambassador, Mr. Rafael Mendivil.
Then a lecture was given, by Mr. Marcel Israel, about the Jewish community in Bulgaria: “Past, Present and Future” , after which the assembly moved on to the Beit Shalom Community Centre, where several working discussions on different subjects were held: “Proyecto Ladino Database” , presented by Karen Gerson, Istambul; "The Judeo-Spanish oral Archive (JSA): perspectives for development", presented by Mavrogiannis Pandelis, University of Paris; and “Linguistic Identity-Play Amongst Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria: A Narrative Study”, presented by Leah Davcheva, Bulgaria.
Thereafter, two lectures on migration took place at the Cervantes Institute: “The migration of Bulgarian Jews to Israel”, by Eliezer Papo, and “The migration of Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire to the Habsburg Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries”, by Marcel Israel.
The first day of the summit ended at the Beit Shalom Community Centre with musical performances and a Sephardic dinner offered by the community.

The next day, September 20th, the participants of the summit travelled to Plovdiv, where the morning was dedicated to visit the town, followed by a lunch offered by the Plovdiv Jewish community and the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters. In the afternoon, a tribute was rendered in the Plovdiv Theatre, to Angel Wagenstein, the renowned writer and film director of Sephardic origin born in Plovdiv, with speeches from Mr. Emiliano García-Page, Mayor of Toledo, and Sefarad-Israel executives Mr. Miguel de Lucas and Mr. Fernando Martinez Vara de Rey. Next point of the program was a visit to the World War II Memorial of Plovdiv, where a lecture was given on the history of the Jews of Plovdiv during World War II and the role of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. After a visit of Plovdiv Synagogue, the summit participants returned to Sofia. In the evening, the Israelite singer Mor Kabasi offered a concert of Sephardic Music, presenting her latest album “Hija de la primavera”, at the National Palace of Culture, followed by a meeting there with the mayors of Sofia and Tel Aviv.

On the last day of the summit, September 21st, the second part of the working discussions took place at the Beit Shalom Community Center, on the following subjects: “La Comunidad Sefardi de America Latina” (José Mensacé, Buenos Aires); “Presencia sefardí en México” (Simonette Behar, México), and “Esfuerzo para que no desaparezca la Jaketia” (Solly Levy, Toronto).
A general discussion about the future main working lines for preserving memory closed this part of the program. The participants then had the opportunity to assist at the premiere of the documentary “The Bulgarian Jews sing their tradition”, presented by its authors and moderated by Nicolai Kaufmann. The program of the summit continued with a lecture on “Elias Canetti: the saved language”, by Esther Bendahan (Sefarad-Israel), the presentation of Centropa, by Edward Serotta, and the presentation of the Bulgarian Ladino Club.
After a visit of the World War II Monument at the Parlament, with a flower offering and a Kaddish prayer, the official part of the summit ended with a reception at the residence of the Spanish Ambassador.
Finally, the participants had the opportunity to take a guided tour of Sofia, and in the evening they gathered for a farewell dinner in a typical Bulgarian tavern.


Under the motto “EDJC 2.0: Facing the future”, this year’s edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture has been celebrated last Sunday, September 4th.

The importance of connecting our heritage not only with our Present, but also with the future has been the focal issue of many of the wide range of activities which have been organised all over Europe, attracting a great number of visitors.
For details of the programmes, please check the “EDJC” section on this website, where you will also find updated numbers of visitors of the different venues during the next few days, as they reach us.

Ebr@ismo 2.0: dal Talmud a Internet

The European Day of Jewish Culture in Italy

The European Day of Jewish Culture 2011 in the European Institute of Cultural Routes website

Their website offers information on the European Days of Jewish Culture

Find more information at:

Médiathèque Alliance Baron Edmond de Rothschild

Activities for September 2011

The Médiathèque Alliance Baron Edmond de Rothschild organizes two activities for September:

- September 4th, from 1 pm to 7 pm:
Jewish-Spanish afternoon within the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage in France

- September 8th, 8.30 pm:
Presentation of the book by Monique-Lise Cohen, Emmanuel Levinas and Henri Meschonic. Résonances prophétiques.

More information:
Centre Alliance Edmond J. Safra
6 bis, rue Michel-Ange - 75016 Paris
Contact: - 0155747910

The EUROPEAN DAY OF JEWISH CULTURE in north-American press

News about the celebration of the EDJC 2011 has reached as far as the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

On July 22nd, the travel section of the Chicago Tribune ( has published an article on this event, which can be found on this
As it appears, the celebration of the EDJC not only promotes Jewish heritage sites among locals and national tourists, but it has also become an attraction for visitors from outside Europe, keen to discover, and learn more about, Jewish culture in Europe. And which better way to do that than taking part in the wealth of activities organised on occasion of the EDJC by the participating countries, cities and associations?

2nd International Festival of Sephardic Memory in Portugal

From September 18th to 21st, the towns of Guarda, Trancoso and Belmonte (Serra de Estrela, Portugal) will host the second edition of the International Festival of Sephardic Memory.

The festival this year is focused on three main subjects dealing with Judaism and decisive moments in History and Humankind:
- The Righteous of Portugal during World War II
- The exploit of Carlos Sampayo Garrido and Alberto Branquinho in Hungary
- The rescuing work of Captain Barros Bastos
For further details of the programme, please contact the organisation at:

“Judaism in the Age of New Media”


We are proud to present you, at the following link, the entries received for the photography contest “Judaism in the Age of New Media”, co-organised by the AEPJ and CDEC (Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea, Milan, Italy):
As you will appreciate, the choice has been a very difficult one for the Jury, who will reveal the name of the winner and the three finalists on September 4th 2011 in Milan, on occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture.
Check this site again in order to discover the winner and finalists.


As every year, the AEPJ has edited a compilation of the activities and events taking place on occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2010.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_48.pdf

The booklet, 41 pages strong, contains reports on the Day from different countries, statistics, national coordinators’ contact data, as well as a selection of photographs taken during the event. Furthermore, it features general information about the AEPJ and the European Route of Jewish Heritage, and an article by H.Kohan dealing with the 2010 subject matter ART&JUDAISM :” Jewish Art” .
Finally, the publication also dedicates a page to this year’s celebration of the EDJC, which will stand under the motto of “EDJC 2.0: FACING THE FUTURE”.
We cordially invite you to discover the activities which will be organised on September 4th 2011 in the different participating countries, featuring soon here on our website.


From June 11th to 19th, Barcelona will be the main venue of this festival, which presents a new slogan this year: OPEN MINDED CINEMA.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_47.pdf

The “Festival de Cinema Jueu de Barcelona” celebrates its thirteenth edition with an ambitious programme, as always, in order to promote a kind of cinema which generally is not present at the comercial circuits.

Within the documentary genre, the tale “I Shot My Love”, by Israelite Tomer Heyman will be presented. The Argentine Daniel Burman presents “Los 36 Justos·, a travel diary from Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Yael Hersonski recovers some unknown shootage of the ghetto of Warsaw made by the Nazis, for “A Film Unfinished”. Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir draws in “Cabaret Berlin” parallels between the decaying evolution of Berlin Cabaret and the evolution of the Weimar Republic. “My Perestroika”, by Robin Hessman, showes the transformation of the old Soviet Union into nowadays Russia through the eyes of five schoolboys from the other side of the Iron Curtain. Three short films of the documentary genre are completing this view most close to reality: “Starring David”, by Ester Gould; a 2D version of the kidnapping of a plane in 1976, “Cohen on the Bridge”, by Andrew Wainrib; and “Strangers No More”, by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, which has recently been awarded the Oscar for the best Short Documentary, and which shows the life of refugee children in a school in Tel Aviv.

In the fictional genre, “The Bubble”, by Eytan Fox, will open the festival this year with this particular view of the modern youth of Tel Aviv, always overshadowed by inescapable violence. “Little Rose”, by Jam Kidawa-Blónski is a spy thriller from the late Sixties. Kevin Asch presents in“Holy Rollers” a young orthodox Jew lured into drug dealing by a friend with connections to a drug cartel. “Mahler on the Couch”, by Percy Adlon, describes the –real- encounter betwen the musician and Freud.. “Protektor”, a subtle thriller set in depressing Prague during World War II. un filme de sigiloso suspense que fotografía en movimiento la Praga apocada durante la II Guerra Mundial. Marcos Carnevale presents one of the most sensibel and moving films, about a girl with Down’s Syndrome, and who gives name to the film: “Anita”, who gets lost in Buenos Aires after a terrorist attack. Eran Riklis, too, employs an attack to start off a crazy and endearing journey in “El viaje del director de recursos humanos”. Dani Levi, with “Life is Too Long”, also gives comedy a presence at the festival, the same as Brit Josh Appignanesi, with “The Infidel”, a story about a Muslim who, in the most unforeseen way, discovers his real, Jewish, origin.

Venues and times:

At the Instituto Francés, from Sunday to Friday, two sessions: 7h30 pm and 9h30 pm. and Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, Saturdays, at 10 pm


Final results of the election of the EDJC 2011 poster

The election of the official poster for the European Day of Jewish Culture 2011 has given the following FINAL RESULT:

Proposal nº 1: 1 vote from Spain, 16 votes from the website voting
Proposal nº2: 2 votes from Norway and Lithuania, 53 votes from the website voting
Proposal nº3: 1 vote from Poland, 25 votes from the website voting
Proposal nº4: 2 votes from Belgium and France, 90 votes from the website voting
Proposal nº5: 1 vote from the United Kingdom, 31 votes from the website voting

Since the decisive votes of the national coordinators were divided between proposal nº 2 and proposal nº 4, the popular voting on the website, which has shown a clear preference for proposal nº 4, has tipped the scales towards proposal nº 4.

Our congratulations to the designer of the poster, and our most sincere acknowledgements to everyone who has participated in this election, either by presenting designs, or by giving their vote.

Photography contest

On the occasion of the 2011 European Day of Jewish Culture, the AEPJ, together with the “Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea CDEC Onlus” [CDEC], has launched a Photography Contest on the subject matter

Judaism in the age of new media
New tools of communication, representation and exchange

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_45.pdf

A jury named by CDEC, will select 30 photographs for the final stage of the competition, from which the winning photograph will be chosen. All 30 finalist photographs will be on exhibition in Milan, on the European Day of Jewish Culture, September 4th 2011 (organizations in each country will set up their own local exhibitions).

An award ceremony will be held in Milan on September 4th 2011, and the winner will receive the Contest Prize of €350, as well as a one day-hospitality for two persons in Milan. Second- and third-ranking photographers will be awarded Honorable Mentions.

Please check the attached file for participation rules and instructions.

Poster design proposals for the 2011 European Day of Jewish Culture

This year we have received a total of 5 different proposals, which can be found above. We would like to thank all those who have worked on the poster proposals very much for their initiative, as well as all others who have participated with their comments and opinions, which have been most useful.

Besides your own vote, we would also like to start a popular voting, for which we ask your help in spreading the news among your acquaintance, and in all the websites and social networks you deem convenient. For this purpose, we present you the following link: and kindly ask you to share it as widely as possible.

The deadline for the voting is April 16th 2011

Meeting of the Association of European Jewish Museums in Rome

The Jewish Museum of Rome has been the venue for the annual conference of the AEJM between November 20th to 23rd 2010.

Coinciding with its 50th anniversary, the Jewish Museum of Rome has hosted this year’s AEJM conference, which was held under the subject matter “Past and Present: the contemporary role of Jewish museums in Europe”.

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_43.pdf

An intense and varied programme awaited the attendants of the conference, which combined lectures, workshops and panel discussions with guided tours and visits.

The General Meeting of AEJM members and associates was held on November 22nd, and the AEPJ, represented by Mrs. Claude Bloch, Mrs. Annie Sacerdoti and Mrs. Assumpció Hosta, was happy to invite the assistants to join the project European Day for Jewish Culture in the forthcoming year 2011.

International Heritage Show in Paris

From November 4th to 7th, the International Heritage show takes place at the Louvre Carroussel

Since 15 years, this show is the showcase for both heritage sites and places, and professionals linked to their conservation and renovation, official institutions and specialized travel agencies and press. More than 200 exhibitors, from all fields related to heritage, present their works and services at this important event.
Many activities take place at the show, such as debates and round tables with experts, dealing with different kind of heritage issues. There are also different educational and leisure workshops for the younger visitors, in order to awaken their interest in special, heritage-oriented professions.
At the same time, the show is the venue chosen by organizations and institutions to award different prizes to distinguish excellence of work of artisans, companies, sites, owners, architects, etc.
Each year, the show has a particular subject matter, on which the different activities are focused. This year, the subject matter is the Mediterranean Heritage.
Cradle of civilizations, the Mediterranean is the indispensable link for exchanges between North and South, where objects, arts and ideas circulate. The Mediterranean basin is not only a cultural source of exceptional variety, but also a reservoir of talent and know-how, with a more than thousand-year-old heritage.

Of particular interest at the show is the presence, with an own stand at the ‘Gabriel’ hall, of the European Cultural Routes, to which the AEPJ, with the European Route of Jewish Heritage, belongs as well. This way, the AEPJ is present at the show, represented by Mrs. Claude Bloch (B’nai B’rith Europe), and Mrs. Assumpció Hosta (Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters).

For more information on the International Heritage Show, visit their website.

4th Pan European Conference of Jewish Communities&Jewish Organisations

From October 21st till 24th, London has been the venue of the 4th Pan European Conference of Jewish Communities&Jewish Organisations

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_41.pdf

The conference has dealt with different aspects of modern Jewish life, such as Culture, Welfare, Youth, or Resources and Development, including the participation of internationally renowned speakers. On occasion of the event, a reception by the Mayor of London, Mr. Boris Johnson, has been given on Friday, October 22nd.

The presidency of the AEPJ will be represented at the conference by Mrs. Claudia de Santos, deputy mayor of Segovia, the city which is currently holding the presidency of both the AEPJ and the Networkof Spanish Jewish Quarters.

Please check the attached PDF file for her greeting speech, as well as the speech of Mr. Graham Weinberg, president of B'nai B'rith Europe, another founding member of the AEPJ.

Extraordinary success of the European Day of Jewish Culture

All over Europe, more than 20 countries have celebrated last September 5th, the 11th edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_40.pdf

This celebration, which has become a fix date on the European cultural agenda, being held each first Sunday of the month of September since 1999, has been highlighting, year after year, the historic contribution of the Jewish communities to the history the culture and the memory of Europe.
Open doors at synagogues and museums, guided tours and visits, exhibitions and workshops, concerts and performances, crafts fairs and food sampling, conferences and lectures, and a long etcetera are being organised, evolving around Jewish heritage and culture.
Each year, the activities are focused on a particular aspect, the subject matter of the event. This year, it has been ART&JUDAISM, offering an extraordinary wide range of different activities, as can be found on our website at: web

Incoming reports on the event from the different countries are a testimony to the increasing interest in the wider public to discover the varied and fascinating aspects of Jewish culture and heritage.
Please check the attached PDF file for the currently available visitor numbers. This information will be updated weekly.

The AEPJ would like to thank all organisations and participants for their interest, time, effort and dedication, which have made the EDJC an important element of social unity in today’s Europe.


September 5th 2010 is the date of this year’s edition of the European-wide celebration of the European Day of Jewish Culture

Already in its 11th year, the EDJC has become a truly European event, with more than 25 European countries taking part in 2009: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Every year, a special subject matter is chosen, around which activities and events are being organized. The subject matter of this year, “Art and Judaism”, offers an especially wide field of topics to explore:
- Different kinds of art: paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, literature, music, films, theatre
- Different artists: painters, sculptors, writers, actors, composers and performers, directors
- Different periods: ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary
- Others: patrons of art, collections
- Art applied in religious ceremony or in everyday life
- Etc., etc.

This means that organizers from all participating countries will be able to come up with innumerable different kinds of activities to attract and surprise the visitors, who will be given an extraordinary opportunity to discover the artistic wealth of Jewish culture and heritage.
Please check this site for the detailed programmes of the different countries, which will be available within the next days and weeks.

The Programme of Programmes EDJC 2009 is now available

The AEPJ has recently published the compilation of the activities organised during the European Day of Jewish Culture 2009.

The PDF version of the Programme of Programmes can be downloaded from PUBLICATIONS section.

11th European Day of Jewish Culture 2010

The first Sunday of September will be yet another year the date for the celebration of the European Day of Jewish Culture.

The 11th edition of this event will take place on September 5th 2010, under the subject matter


The relationship between art and Judaism is not only a long-standing one, but it also presents an immense wealth of facets, which we invite you to explore on occasion of this celebration.

As already done last year, the subject matter of the EDJC was decided by vote from the different national coordinators. The following countries and regions took part in the election: Antwerp, Baden-Württemberg, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Galicia JM, Hamburg, Hungary, Italy, Novi Sad, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom)

Please watch this page for further information about the event in the forthcoming months.

10th European Day of Jewish Culture

Conclusions and results

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_33.pdf

Dear Friends,
The celebration of the 10th European Day of Jewish Culture has yet again been a huge success, both in terms of organisation and participation.
The event was launched on September 4th, in the Spanish city of Plasencia, where a press conference presenting the EDJC took place, with the participation of representatives of all the member associations of the AEPJ, to celebrate this 10th anniversary.
The magnificent results of participation obtained in all participating countries, are the best endorsement for this project, which has become an essential part of the European Cultural agenda. Over the years, not only the number of visitors has increased, but also the number of activities and events on offer, as well as their quality:
From 5 to 25 countries
From 50.000 to 200.000 visitors
From 50 to 600 cultural activities
The full consolidation of the project also represents an important collaboration of, and cooperation between, citizens of different countries, cultural traditions and beliefs.
There is a growing tendency of the Day to extend itself over the whole weekend, or even a longer period, which is an excellent tool for long-term cooperation in order to save from oblivion a heritage and a culture which is inseparable from the European identity.
From these pages we would like to express our warmest thanks to all those persons who have dedicated their time, knowledge and efforts to make the European Day of Jewish Culture come true.

Please click at the attached document for detailed numbers of participation and activities

International meeting in Plasencia (Spain)

Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Jewish Culture

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_32.pdf

Some representatives of AEPJ association participated last September 4th on the activities that took place in Plasencia.

More information at Mosaico website and at the attached document by Fondazione per i Beni Culturali Ebraici in Italia.

Last newsletter

March bulletin by Red de Juderías

You can download the last newsletter of activities by Red de Juderías de España.

L'Unione Informa

Bulletin by Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiene

Last bulletin by Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane website.

General Assembly of E.E.I.G. Culture-Routes Europe

The International Association of the Phoenicians’ Routes organized the meeting which rounded off this year of activities, defined the future projects and welcomed new members.

On March 30th, the General Assembly of E. E. I. G Culture-Routes Europe had the privilege to take place in the Norman Palace of Palermo, the eldest Parliament in Europe and, now, the head office of the Regional Council of Sicily.

Delegations of the routes which participated on the meeting as members of the Assembly:
The Phoenicians’ Route
The Via Francigena
The Heritage al-Andalus
Route of Saint Martin of Tours

The Assembly agreed the entry of the European Route of the Jewish Heritage as a new member, as a result of AEPJ’s request to be part of it.
We are thankful for the interest of the Assembly and we are honoured for this new responsibility, which we wish that contributes to the future of the cultural routes.

HAG SAMEAH. Pesah 5769

One more year, the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage wishes you all happy holidays.

Nissan 15th-21st - April 9th to 16th, 2009.

One more year, the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage wishes you all happy holidays.

Nissan 15th-21st - April 9th to 16th, 2009

This festivity commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. Also known as the Feast of Freedom. Other names of this holiday period are Feast of Spring due to its relation with the start of the agricultural cycle, and “matzo holiday” because of the unleavened bread eaten to recall the bread that the Jews had to eat during the exodus. The first night of Pesah is marked by Seder, a ceremonial traditional familiar dinner.

Meeting of the executive committee of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2009

Palma de Mallorca. March 27th, 2009

Representatives of the executive committee of the AEPJ and national coordinators of Italy, France, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have met today in Palma of Mallorca to coordinate the events of the 10th European Day of the Jewish Culture that will be celebrated the first Sunday of September in all Europe. The 2009 theme will be "Jewish festivities and Traditions". The delegation has received a warm welcome by Ms. Joana M. Borrás, Deputy Mayor of Institutional Relations and Tourism of the Town Council of Palma of Mallorca -current presidency of the Spanish network "Red de Juderías de España" and host of the event-, as well as by Mr. Barchillón, vice-president of the Jewish Community of the Balear Islands.

In the picture:
Ms. Claude Bloch (B'nai Brit'h Europa), Ms. Annie Sacerdoti (European Council of Jewish Communities) Ms. Assumpció Hosta (Red de Juderías de España), Mr. Maros Borsky, Mr. Claude Nadjari, Mr. Peter Gyori and Ms. Sira Fatucci, with Ms. Joana M. Borràs and Mr. Barcillón.

Besalú, ciudad judía

"Besalú, Jewish city", March 7th and 8th 2009

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_21.pdf

Temporary exhibitions, guided tours and lectures about Jewish culture in Besalú, Spain.

Preparations for the European Day of Jewish Culture 2009

This year, the event will take place on September 6th, with the subject matter: "CELEBRATIONS AND TRADITIONS"

During the International Workshop on the European Route of Jewish Heritage, held in the Spanish town of Oviedo last November, one of the main subjects has been the European Day of Jewish Culture 2009, which will take place as each year on the first Sunday of September. One of the main decisions made during the workshop concerned the subject matter of this year's edition. Since such a great number of interesting proposals there were made, it was agreed to submit the question to voting.
All national coordinators were contacted by e-mail and were asked to make their choice among the numerous subjects proposed, such as:
Women/ Childhood/ Celebrations and Traditions/ Languages/ Interculturality/ Diaspora/ Crossed Destinies/ Creativity and Innovation/ Dialogue/ Literature/ The Jewish contribution to the construction of Europe/ Sustainability and Environment.
11 countries- France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom- presented their votes, resulting in "Celebrations and Traditions" being chosen as the subject matter for 2009.
Another point of debate was whether to keep or change the design of the EDJC poster. It was finally decided to update the image, encouraging everyone to hand in proposals at the AEPJ secretariat ( )
In order to achieve a greater involvement of the participating countries, an executive committee for the EDJC was appointed: representatives of Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and the AEPJ are the members of this committee, whose first meeting is scheduled for the end of March 2009.

For full details of the decisions taken at the workshop in Oviedo, please click here for the REPORT

The European Day of Jewish Culture under discussion at the 1st Workshop on the European Itinerary of Jewish Heritage (Oviedo, November 4th and 5th 2008)

Representatives of eleven European countries successfully debated different issues of the EDJC

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_19.pdf

Already going into it's 10th edition this year 2009, the EDJC has established itself firmly as an important highlight of the European cultural agenda. The organizers of the event from Czech Republic, France, Holland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey dedicated an intense session to sharing their experiences and to look for ways to further improve and consolidate the event.
Among the most important decisions being taken during the meeting are those referring to the subject matter 2009, -to be chosen by general voting-, and to the graphic image; it was generally agreed that, after nine years of using the same image, changing only the background colour each year, time had come for a renewal.
For a detailed account of the meeting, please click here to read the complete report.

Times and places of Jewish Girona

International Symposium in Girona

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_15.pdf

DATES: Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th March
SCHEDULE: From 9 am to 7 pm
LOCATION: Cultural Centre La Mercè and Bonastruc ça Porta Centre

The goal of this symposium is to present the new lines of research and the historiographical advances of the last twenty years in the study of the history and the culture of the Jewish community of the medieval Girona.

This symposium will include a simultaneous translation service in Catalan, Spanish and English (except for the debates and the homage to David Romano).

Inscription: 60 EUR
Inscription period: from January 2nd to March 15th.
More information at the symposium brochure.

Hebdo Itineraires Culturels nº56

Newsletter by the European Institute of Cultural Routes


  • Les Juifs sur Arte
    During first millennium, the Jews were more or less integrated in Europe. But this unstable balance change with the crusades...


More information at: European Institute of Cultural Routes website

Preparation for 1st International Workshop on the Jewish Heritage Itinerary

Oviedo, November 4th and 5th 2008

Download the file (Requires Acrobat Reader): JH_13.pdf

The AEPJ is preparing the 1st International Workshop on the Jewish Heritage Itinerary, that will be held in Oviedo on November 4th and 5th.
You can find more information about the programme at the attached document.

First Meeting of Cultural Routes Network

On October 2nd was held in Strasbourg the First Meeting of the Cultural Routes Network of the Council of Europe. It had an attendance of 40 people representing most of the 24 European cultural routes. The representatives of the Advisory Commitee of the Cultural Routes are the national representatives from the Cultural Ministry of Lithuania, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, Georgia and Rumania, and the meeting was chaired by Mrs. Roberta Alberotanza and the Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes Mr. Michel Thomas Penette.

The meeting, organized by the General Directorate of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport, had an active participation of their representatives, Mr. Robert Palmer, Director of Culture and Natural Heritage; Mrs. Irena Guidikova, head of Cultural, Diversity and Negotiation policies; and Mrs. Françoise Tondre, in charge of the Cultural Routes.

The goal of this meeting was to announce the new decision adopted by the Commitee of Ministers about the Routes of the Council of Europe, as well as the general guidelines of this routes and their visibility. In addition, the meeting discussed about proceeding and management regarding the creation of different routes, and the improvement and relationship among themselves and between them and their territories.

The delegation of the AEPJ (European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage) was composed by Claude Bloch, representative of B'nai B'rith Europe; and Assumpció Hosta, representative of Red de Juderías - Caminos de Sefarad.

On the photograph, (left to right): Annie Sacerdoti, Irena Guidikova, Claude Bloch, Assumpció Hosta, Robert Palmer.

Great success of the 9th edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture

The celebration, held on Sunday, September 7th 2008, has attracted a large number of visitors to Jewish heritage sites all over Europe

While reports about visitor numbers are still coming in, the overall impression of the event is already that of a huge success. The interest of the wider public in Jewish heritage is increasing every year, mainly due to the joint efforts of organising this European-wide celebration year after year.
The general results of the event will be available soon on this site.

This year's theme -MUSIC- proved to hold great attraction, since it offered a great variety of activities, such as guided tours accompanied by music, exhibitions on instruments, or on the role music plays in Jewish life, and, of course, concerts of all kinds of Jewish music: liturgical and lay music, Klezmer, Sephardic music and jazz. At some places, refreshments were being offered; at others, visitors joined in with singing and dancing.
Some locations have established a whole week of events and activities around the EDJC, such as music and cinema festivals, medieval fairs or gastronomic days.

Organizers, both local and national, have expressed their satisfaction about the outcome of the day, and declared their readiness to repeat the experience in 2009.
Watch this site for the first details of the 10th edition of European Day of Jewish Culture 2009 coming soon.

Last, but not least a big "THANK YOU" to all the organisers, helpers and volunteers, whose dedication and enthusiasm has made it all possible.

The AEPJ is planning a meeting of national coordinators of the European Day of Jewish Culture at the end of 2008

A project of organising a meeting and conference is currently being elaborated by the AEPJ

Coinciding with the next general assembly of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, currently occupying the chairmanship of the AEPJ, in November this year, the AEPJ is envisaging a meeting of the European coordinators of the EDJC within the framework of a conference on the subject of European cultural routes.
This meeting not only will allow the different coordinators to get to know each other personally, but it will also offer a forum for the exchange of experiences, projects and ideas, thus contributing to enhance and strengthen the collaboration between countries.
Even though there are no further details available yet, the possible date is the weekend of November 21st to 23rd, and the place Oviedo (Spain).

Change of chairmanship at the AEPJ

The Network of Spanish Jewish Quarter (Red de juderías de España - Caminos de Sefarad) takes over the chairmanship of the AEPJ from B'nai B'rith Europe.

Statutes of the AEPJ establish that chairmanship of the association is to be occupied in bi-annual turns by the three member associations: B'nai B'rith Europe, Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, and European Council of Jewish Communities.

The former chairmanship, for the period 2006 / 2007, had been held by Mrs. Claude Bloch, on behalf of B'nai B'rith Europe. Now the turn has come for the Red de Juderías de España (Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters) to take over the chairmanship, which is upheld in the person of the present chairman of the Network, the Mayor of León, Mr. Francisco Fernández Álvarez.

The transfer took place on May 23rd 2008 at the plenary hall of the town hall of León, on occasion of the Network's General Assembly.
During the ceremony there were also presented two new publications:
The European Programme of the 8th European Day of Jewish Culture 2007 (it can be downloaded from this website at the EDJC section), and the collection of 6 volumes "European Cultural Routes" (in Spanish), an initiative of the Council of Europe. Volume n.6 of this collection is dedicated to the European Route of Jewish Heritage (details of this publication at the Publications section of our website).

At the same time, the secretary office of the AEPJ has been temporarily relocated to Spain for better convenience, to the secretary office of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters.

20th Anniversary of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe

In October 2007, an Official Commemorating Ceremony was held at Santiago de Compostela (Spain), to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first European Cultural Route: the Jacobean Route.

After this first Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, which traces the different paths of pilgrims who made their journey from different parts of Europe to Santiago de Compostela., 23 other routes have followed, such as the 'Mozart Route', the 'Via Francigena', or the 'Route of the Castilian Language and its expansion along the Mediterranean: the routes of the Sephardim'.
The European Route of Jewish Heritage was being recognized as such by the Council of Europe (see pertinent news article below in this section) in 2005.

The main ceremony took place on October 23rd at the Obradoiro Square, Santiago, presented by the head of the Tourism department of the Xunta of Galicia, R.Lois. Speeches by E.Pérez Touriño and a.Quintana, President and Vice-President, respectively, of the Xunta, as well as by X.Sánchez Bugallo, Mayor of Santiago and F.tondre, in charge of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe included an appeal to future generations to be imbued with values such as respect, tolerance and solidarity.

The new declaration of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, which had been composed at the "Symposium 20th Anniversary of the Cultural Routes of the European Council" held at Le-Puy-en-Vélay last September, was read publicly, stressing the need to establish a cooperating network between the 24 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, paying special attention to "respecting and valuating cultural diversity and dialogue between religions".
Big panels featuring an exhibition on the Jacobean Route, as well as on the other 23 routes, were headed: "EUROPE IS THE WAY".

Representatives of both B'nai B'rith Europe and Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, two of the member organisations of the AEPJ, were present at the ceremonies and took part in the international conference on the different Cultural Routes, sharing and exchanging their experiences of management of their routes.

The AEPJ presents its redesigned website with more features and contents

As yet another phase in the process of redefining its corporate image, which had started earlier this year with the presentation of a new logo and graphic identity, the AEPJ has launched a redesigned website, created by Enoe-Realidad Virtual, from Sitges, Spain.

This attractive newly designed site ( provides ample information, in a format easy to access, about the activities of the association, about the Jewish Heritage Routes and the European Day of Jewish Culture.

One of the main features of the new site is the new, improved design of the Agenda of activities for the European Day of Jewish Culture, which provides easy-to-read listing of the events taking place that day. The Agenda also includes an archive of the activities of each past EDJC since 2004.

Furthermore, the site provides information about the AEPJ, a photo gallery of Jewish Heritage, a News section, a list of AEPJ Publications and a Contact flap for contacting the Association directly from the website.

A Review of the 8th edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture, celebrated on September 2nd 2007

Mrs. Claude Bloch, chairwoman of the AEPJ during 2007, outlines the importance, as well as the success, of this celebration

As in former years, this report offers you a general survey of the different activities which have taken place during 2007 on occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture.

We specially wish to point out the steadily increasing success of this day. Just as during the past years, the number of visitors has continued to grow, up to a total of 200.000 persons between the 30 countries.

We can confidently, and with certain pride, affirm that our programme has achieved durability and it is now firmly established within the European cultural panorama. The EDJC is generally considered a marvellous opportunity to get an access to Judaism and to knowledge of the other. It is the kind of event that helps to promote the European ideal of comprehension and tolerance amongst our youth.

While all the activities which have taken place were on such a high level of quality as has been remarked on by all visitors who have left their commentary, I would like to pick up some of the highlights of the event, even if it cannot be done in too exhaustive a way. To start with, let me take a look at the different interpretations given to the subject which has been chosen, and which has enabled to encompass activities of a very diverse, as well as symbolic kind.
Thus, the United Kingdom could refer to 350 years of Jewish presence, whereas Turkey, even though considered a Muslim country, had been able to open up its great synagogue in all its serenity. On the other hand, Poland, an eminently Catholic country, had decided to promote its Jewish culture, while Berlin had opened the doors of its synagogue on September 2nd, even though it had barely been inaugurated the day before!
The city of Antwerp had organized its own itinerary, and as to the rest, there had been so many other events and initiatives in the numerous countries and cities that it is impossible for me to mention them all in this introduction. You will find all the details on the following pages of this report.

The important and definite position of our EDJC within the whole of cultural activities carried on in Europe has been illustrated in a way that has touched me very much personally, since I have had the privilege to represent the Jewish Heritage during the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Jacobean Route, in Puy-en-Velay and Santiago de Compostela, invited by the Council of Europe.

But beyond my own person, it were all the contributors and promoters of the EDJC who had thus been acknowledged as belonging to a European community who works in a positive way towards the conservation of cultures, the comprehension of others and tolerance.

We can only hope that this spirit is maintained and will prevail those contrary forces which unfortunately are still strong in our days. This is the wish I make on this occasion.

The Council of Europe awarded the diploma of Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe to the European Route of Jewish Heritage.

This event took place on December 5th 2005, in a formal ceremony in the Palais De l'Europe, Strasbourg.

Mme Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe awarded the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ) the diploma of "Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" to the European Route of Jewish Heritage. The ceremony took place to recognize and promote Jewish Heritage, as an integral part of our European Cultural Heritage. It consisted in a formal award ceremony in the Council of Europe, with presences of the partner organisations' presidents, steering committee and European authorities, and the unveiling of a plaque in the synagogue of Pfaffenhoffen, which is one of the rare rural synagogues from the 18th century that has been preserved in Alsace. The event was also supported by the city's Major who officially concluded the ceremony with a cocktail in the city hall for the participants. After launching the European Day of Jewish Culture across Europe, B'nai B'rith Europe, the European Council of Jewish Communities and the Red de Juderias de España have decided to extend the reach of this event throughout Europe and make these more sites visible and accessible to the general public throughout the year. The shared aim is to develop and promote the preservation of Jewish Heritage. This award ceremony which showcased the European Route of Jewish Heritage, was a project that was launched at a conference organised with the collaboration of the Government of Luxembourg on 18-20 June 2004. This brought together the coordinators of both the European Day of Jewish Culture and a scientific committee formed by eminencies and specialists in Jewish Art Heritage. Visitors will be invited from throughout Europe to discover more European Jewish Heritage sites of interest such as the Spanish Jewish Quarters, the wooden synagogues in Lithuania, the Jewish Cemeteries in Alsace, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Italian synagogues in Florence and Casale MonferratoÉ, which will all be opened to the general public. All organisations linked to these Jewish Communities across Europe such as synagogues, cemeteries, mikvaot, Jewish Quarters, monuments, Memorials, but also archives, libraries, museums dedicated to the study, promotion and understanding of the Jewish Life stand to benefit by being involved with this project.