Florence’s European Day of Jewish Culture

The Florence Synagogue

Sept. 22: FLORENCE’S EUROPEAN DAY OF JEWISH CULTURE: DREAMS, A LADDER TO HEAVEN. 11 am onwards.  Synagogue, via Farini 6, Florence.

Florence’s European Day of Jewish Culture, with free admission, includes events that will allow visitors to learn more about the history and the modern life of the Jewish community, the importance of dreams and how national traditions are organically integrated into modernity. Of course, guests won’t want to miss a chance to taste Kosher specialities and enjoy music in the Jewish style. 

Free of charge, the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum will also be open to the public from 11 am to 7 pm.  Throughout the day, visitors are welcome to join the guided tours of Synagogue to discover its treasures (11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm). 

The president of the Jewish Community of Florence, David Smooth, will meet and greet visitors together with Monica Barni (Head of Culture and vice president of the Tuscany Region)  to honor the memory of Daniela Misul, who had an important role as a president of the Florentine community; she died prematurely in August, 2019.

The talk, “The dream in the Jewish world: history, literature, religion and philosophy,” at 11:30 am will highlight the theme of the day with speakers Wlodek Goldkorn, Rav Amedeo Spagnoletto, Sergio Givone and Hulda Brawer Liberanome. 

People who loves to read or just want to discuss the value of dreams in life can share their thoughts in a discussion “Believe in dreams, though they may not come true” (12:45 pm), inspired by late Israeli writer Amos Oz whose symbolic, poetic novels reflect on the divisions and strains in the modern world. The discussion, focusing on perseverance, that is, that and other qualities necessary to inspire people to not give up even when it seems that their dreams can’t be achieved.  The discussion will be moderated by councillor for culture of the Jewish Community of Florence, Laura Strong, and Wlodek Goldkorn 

Starting at 1:10 pm visitors will be treated to a buffet of traditional Jewish dishes by prepared by Michael Hagen and Jean Michel Carasso. 

In Hebrew culture, it is customary to remember those who passed away who left an enduring legacy. Enrico Fink will introduce “Inventing the American dream: the Hollywood Jews” (2:30 pm), which will include a special tribute to the late Guido Fink.

Next on the agenda of Florence’s European Day of Jewish Culture is a 3:45 pm a conference on “The dream in the tradition in the Biblical and the Midrashic (commentary on the Old Testament) traditions as well as in  modern psychoanalysis,” which will be introduced by Rabbi Joseph Levi and Armando Ceccarelli.

Laura and Paul Cioni Plucked will read selections from a novel by British author, Israel Zangwil, “Dreamers of the Ghetto.” This book centers on the fact that the Florence Synagogue was constructed during the 19th century, a period when all Jews were forced to leave the city’s “ghetto,” their home since 1571, complete with iron gates that were locked every evening at sunset and opened every morning at dawn.

Appetizers with a “dream cocktail” will be available from 6 pm, prepared by Balagan Bistrot Café and the barman Edoardo Baldessari.

To perfectly conclude the long day guests can enjoy a concert by Lorin Sklamberg, who is part of internationally renowned Klezmatics, the only Eastern European Jewish klezmer jazz band to win a Grammy award. Sklamberg is arriving Florence from New York for the concert “A Dream Yiddish” where he will perform the Yiddish music with Sasha Lurje, Judelman Craig on violin and Keith Judelman on bass and accordion.

The multitude of activities during the Florence’s European Day of Jewish Culture showcases the community’s rich history, music, and cuisine. Visit the www.firenzebraica.it for details and calendar.

For more information: Tel. 055 245252 or info@firenzebraica.it.  (mary filatova)