We are very excited to be back in touch with you to bring you updates on the landscape of Jewish heritage and culture in Europe. We bring you a summary of the Online Routes Incubator, announce the European Days of Jewish Culture 2021, various news from our members and an in-depth look at our member of the month: B'nai B'rith Europe.
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The European Days of Jewish Culture 2021: Dialogue
In this new year 2021, we are once again getting down to work to organise what we believe will be one of the most ambitious editions of the European Days of Jewish Culture. This year, our festival is framed within the context of the European project NOA (Networks Overcoming Antisemitism). It is under this umbrella, and with the intention of disseminating and promoting positive narratives that highlight the contribution of European Jewry to a more pluralistic and inclusive Europe, that the theme for this year's edition will be:
On the EDJC website you can already start to see some provisional information that we have posted and we will soon be adding more.
In this special edition we want to go one step further in our festival and offer you to participate in a conference among all the European coordinators of EDJC activities, with the aim to strengthen our relationship, to train us in dialogue and to achieve a more homogeneous festival.
We want to offer anyone who has previously participated in organising an EDJC activity or who intends to organise one in the framework of this next edition, a space for two intensive afternoons of training and dialogue online.
For this purpose, in addition to the usual team of the AEPJ and the National Library of Israel, we have several speakers with great expertise in dialogue and Jewish culture who will help us to train in the ambitious task of generating an open, plural and inclusive dialogue in all our activities.
Any individual, institution, community, synagogue, federation... that has previously participated in organising a European Days of Jewish Culture activity or intends to do so in the next edition.
Have you been or would you like to be a coordinator of the European days of Jewish Culture? Receive all the news by subscribing to this link: bit.ly/EDJC2021
How much does it cost?
Participating in the EDJC Coordinators' Meeting is completely free of charge. All we ask for is your involvement and enthusiasm.
What's in it for me?
In addition to dialogue training, a meeting point with more than 300 European Jewish institutions, a dossier full of innovative and surprising activity proposals, by attending the EDJC Coordinators' Meeting 2021 you will be eligible for a help to implement the materials produced by the National Library of Israel. More information will be provided at the relevant meeting.
Last month more than 60 leaders in the management of European Jewish heritage met at the third edition of the European Routes Incubator of the AEPJ; a meeting that not only trains new interested parties to develop a part of the European Routes of Jewish Heritage but also serves as a space for union and networking to discuss the future of Jewish cultural tourism and build more cohesive and innovative projects.
Almost one month after the end of the first AEPJ’s Online Routes Incubator, it is time to draw the conclusions of our annual meeting that for the first time took place online. Three intense and estimulating days, made of meetings and new exchanges. With new ideas, collaborations, and a lot of enthusiasm.
Since this was an online event, this year we were able to open the doors of our Incubator also to external guests, encouraging an even more constructive dialogue. To guarantee our Routes Managers the important appointment with our Scientific Committee, which they are waiting during the whole year, we worked on two programs, allowing them to work side by side with one of our experts.
The program of this year has therefore seen the participation of experts from the most disparate areas of the European map and beyond. Programme and themes that we will try to develop and deepen throughout the year. So, if you would like more information about our annual work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Meeting with the World Monuments Fund
On February 8, within the framework of the AEPJ Networking Sessions, a meeting was held between the AEPJ network of members and the World Monuments Fund. The objective of this meeting was to present this institution, and especially its Jewish Heritage program and the Watch, to the AEPJ members, as well as to explore different ways of cooperation between institutions. We had the great pleasure of having Javier Ors, WMF program manager, as well as Libby Langsner, WMF Jewish Heritage Program Fellow. Their presentations were excellent and the discussion was very lively among the participants.
Bjørn Berge (Norway) was elected today by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) as the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe by 185 votes to 112 for the other candidate, Leyla Kayacik (Turkey). He will take up office on 1 March 2021 for a period of five years and replaces Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni.
The AEPJ Board has written a letter to Mr. Berge to congratulate him on his election, as well as to Mrs. Battaini-Dragoni, who has been a great enthusiast of our institution during her years in office.
Past, present, and future converge in a new exhibition in the former synagogue of a small town in Poland.
In this essay, cultural activist Emil Majuk (from Ośrodek „Brama Grodzka – Teatr NN") – who was born in Wojsławice and curated the exhibit – describes the exhibit, its back story, and his own personal involvement with the synagogue. He describes how past, present, and future converge in the narrative the exhibit tells and questions it addresses — basic but also complex questions including what should, could, or can be the role of a post-Holocaust synagogue building in a town devoid of Jews.
Our member in Izmir, Turkey, is doing a fabulous job in restoring the Sephardic synagogues in his city. Tomorrow 11 February at 18h CET, through the Sephardic Digital Academy, Nessim Benjoya will give a talk in which he will illustrate and share with us the valuable work he is doing in restoring the rich Jewish heritage of this marvellous city.
B'nai B'rith Europe is a Jewish association that is present in 28 countries. B'nai B'rith means "Son of the Alliance" - the concept of alliance is a key concept in the Bible and in Judaism - and it has non-governmental organisational status. Its role is to fight racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism; to support the State of Israel; to help the needy; to promote Jewish identity; to strengthen the knowledge about the Jewish presence in Europe through culture and heritage; to encourage and train young Jewish adults for leadership in the Jewish communities.
"Intercultural dialogue allows the integration of concepts specific to one's own culture, through the mirror held up by the other"
Hanna Kalmenson manages the Brussels office which is the central point of support and coordination of the European Lodges. It is also the representation of BBE at the European institutions. Meet her and her project in this emotional interview.
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