A historic anniversary: 1516-2016 Beit Venezia for the Ghetto Quincentennial

the ghetto of veniceFor eight years now BEIT VENEZIA (previously known as The Venice Center for International Jewish Studies) has honored and continued the legacy of the Ghetto of Venice as a center of Jewish life, art, and learning. We are proud to have been the first to highlight the historic significance of the Ghetto Quincentennial (1516-2016) and of having actively contributed to the planning of this landmark anniversary program. Beit Venezia will be present at the official ceremony of March 29th at La Fenice theatre; it will simultaneously help support the exhibition, Il Ghetto: The Venice Ghetto at 500, presented at the Jewish Community Library of San Francisco, in partnership with San Francisco’s Museo Italo Americano. In April, Beit Venezia will present a session on the Ghetto at the Venice international literary festival, Incroci di Civiltà; we will exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Venice the art work of the New Venice Haggada Project. In May we will co-sponsor the Medici Archive’s international conference “ …li giudei debbano abitar unidi…” The Birth and Evolution of the Venetian Ghetto (1516-1797) at the Doge’s Palace. We will also co-organize in Mestre the festival Fuori dal Ghetto, with films, concerts, lectures and readings on contemporary Jewish culture. In June, we will celebrate the life and works of Sarra Copia Sullam with two poets in residence and a performance.

At the end of June, Delmas Foundation and Jewish Studies at UC Santa Cruz, in collaboration with Beit Venezia, will convene a dozen Early Career Scholars who will present their work on the worldwide impact of the Ghetto as a paradigm for the treatment of minorities. In July, Beit Venezia will be an official partner in the production of the first ever performance of The Merchant of Venice in the Ghetto of Venice. In connection with this production, we are extremely proud of our role in organizing and presenting a mock trial which will be presided over by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We will also co-produce a concert with Frank London featuring new songs on the Ghetto written for the anniversary. Finally, by the end of 2016, Beit Venezia will present the results of the Rewriting the Ghetto project, with texts by many international authors.

Our hope, one day, is to create a center in the Ghetto for Beit Venezia, which will be our front door for visitors and locals to become aware of our vast range of initiatives, for study sessions, presentations, musical performances, exhibition openings, for all to enter the diversity of contemporary cultural works inspired by the richness of the history of the Ghetto.

Follow more information: www.beitvenezia.org

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