Italy participated in the 24th annual European Day of Jewish Culture at 101 sites across 16 regions, with Florence serving as the lead city. This year’s event, held on Sept. 9-10, was dedicated to the theme of beauty.
“Beauty, for our Jewish communities, is also the challenge of knowing how to tell their story, representing themselves and being recognized as an integral part of Italian history and culture in all its dimensions,” stated Noemi Di Segni, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.
Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Italian minister of culture, and state and city officials took part in the events, as did Marco Carrai, honorary Israeli consul in Florence.
The event “invites people to deepen their knowledge of Judaism by opening the doors of synagogues, museums and other Jewish sites to citizens,” according to an official release.
Israeli musician Liron Meyuhas performed in the garden of the Great Synagogue of Florence as part of the day’s festivities.
There were also events at the Jewish museums in Florence and in Siena. Eike Schmidt, an art historian who directs Florence’s Uffizi Galleries—a major museum that is home to Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” among many other masterpieces—was among those who spoke on a panel.
The events of the two days also included a cooking show, a musical performance that draws from the “Song of Songs,” a tasting of kosher Tuscan wines and art exhibitions.