Barcelona, 8 September, 2023 – Today marked a significant moment in the cultural calendar of Catalonia as the European Days of Jewish Culture (EDJC) were inaugurated at the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya in Barcelona. This event brought together a distinguished panel of guests, including Assumpció Hosta i Rebés, the Secretary-General of the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ), Victor Sorenssen, the Director of AEPJ, and Daniela Rosenfeld, the Director of the Jewish Film Festival in Barcelona and coordinator of EDJC in Catalonia. The event was also graced by the presence of the Honorary Consul of Israel in Catalonia, Yosef David Sanchez-Molina, and Carles Armengol, the Director of Religious Affairs for the Generalitat of Catalonia.
Europe, September 3, 2023 – The European Days of Jewish Culture (EDJC) 2023 have commenced with an extraordinary celebration of Jewish heritage, culture, and memory across the continent. This year, under the theme of “Memory” and with the invaluable support of the European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights, and Values program (CERV), the esteemed patronage of UNESCO, and a fruitful collaboration with the National Library of Israel the EDJC 2023 is proving to be a poignant and enriching cultural journey.
The festival officially launched on Sunday, September 3, with more than 230 activities spanning 63 cities across 20 countries. This inaugural day witnessed the enthusiastic participation of an estimated 40,000 individuals. While the festival’s activities extend until the end of November, accommodating the diverse schedules and unique characteristics of each participating region, the significance of this first day cannot be overstated.
In a momentous stride forward, the European Days of Jewish Culture 2023 has been granted the prestigious UNESCO patronage for its upcoming festival. This remarkable acknowledgment not only underscores the significance of preserving cultural diversity and historical memory but also pays tribute to the dedicated EDJC organizers and coordinators who have tirelessly nurtured the festival’s growth.
The UNESCO patronage holds profound implications, signifying the profound resonance between the festival’s objectives and UNESCO’s mission to safeguard cultural heritage and foster cross-cultural dialogue. This milestone achievement can be traced back to the EDJC Organizers & Coordinators Meeting, a pivotal event held earlier this year in Paris. During this gathering, participants were privileged to visit UNESCO’s headquarters, engaging in purposeful sessions designed to deepen their understanding of the organization’s endeavors and their connection to the European Days of Jewish Culture.
We are thrilled to announce that the results of the Jewish History Tours project, co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union, are now available and embedded within the pages of the European Routes of Jewish Heritage. This significant collaboration has connected Europeana, the European digital library, with the European Routes of Jewish Heritage certified by the Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, highlighting the project’s achievements as a best practice example for other cultural routes under the Council of Europe.
Jewish History Tours is a groundbreaking initiative that harnesses the power of location-based storytelling to create captivating and immersive tours focusing on pan-European topics such as multiculturalism, persecution, and migration. These exceptional tours are meticulously crafted by local partners who possess in-depth knowledge of the local Jewish history and the sites that narrate those compelling stories.
Exciting news for all European Days of Jewish Culture (EDJC) organizers and coordinators! The highly anticipated EDJC Organisers & Coordinators Meeting 2023 will reach its climax with a final session and closing ceremony at the prestigious UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The AEPJ and the coordinaton of the European Days of Jewish Culture is proud to announce that the final session and closing ceremony of the EDJC Organisers & Coordinators Meeting 2023 will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. This is a significant milestone in the history of the festival and a testament to its growing reputation and importance.
As the festival continues to grow and evolve, this partnership with UNESCO will help to further promote the importance of Jewish culture and heritage, and provide a platform for discussions about the role of Memory in shaping our cultural identities.
The European Days of Jewish Culture (EDJC) is a continent-wide festival that takes place annually in cities across Europe. The festival aims to promote Jewish culture and heritage, and to create a platform for dialogue and understanding between Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
The festival is organized by local coordinators and volunteers, who plan and execute a wide variety of cultural events, such as concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and lectures. These events take place in museums, synagogues, cultural centers, and other venues, and are open to the public.
The EDJC Organisers and Coordinators Meeting 2023 is an annual event that brings together organizers and coordinators from across Europe to share ideas, best practices, and to plan for the upcoming festival. This year’s meeting will be held in Paris on February 22nd and 23rd, and will focus on the theme of “Memory“.
The International Izmir Sephardic Culture Festival has been awarded within the Respect for History Local Conservation Awards. This festival, directed by Nesim Bencoya and his project Izmir Jewish Heritage, AEPJ member in Turkey, happened over nine days in December that included the week of Hanukkah, thousands attended the annual Sephardic culture festival that Nesim has organized since 2018. The festival included concerts of Jewish and Ladino music, traditional food tastings, lectures on Izmir’s Jewish community, and — since it coincided with Hanukkah and also a Shabbat — both a menorah lighting ceremony and havdalah ceremony were conducted with explanations from Izmir’s leading cantor, Nesim Beruchiel.
This year’s festival marked a turning point: it was the first in which organizers were able to show off several of the centuries-old synagogues that the project — with funding from the European Union and the local municipality — has been restoring.
The Grodzka Gate–NN Theatre, AEPJ member in Lublin, Poland, organizes its Lubliner Reunion 2023, an international meeting of the Jewish inhabitants of Lublin and their descendants.
The program will offer a rich array of meetings, lectures, commemorative events, exhibitions, music, theater, film, tours and workshops. The whole event will be an opportunity for Lubliners to get to know each other as well as present-day Lublin.
The main part of the Reunion will take place from Sunday, July 2, 2023 (Welcome Ceremony and Gathering) through Wednesday, July 5, 2023 (Closing Ceremony). On July 6 and 7 Grodzka Gate–NN Theatre will be offering tours to nearby destinations of interest, and on Friday evening, July 7, 2023 the Lublin Jewish Community will be facilitating Shabbat services and dinner.
The AEPJ is organizing a competition within the framework of the European Days of Jewish Culture 2023 for the creation of its official poster, on the theme “Memory”. The competition is open to the Coordinators and Organizers of activities of the EDJC and they may distribute this call among their networks.
The purpose of the competition is to create the 2023 poster for the European Days of Jewish Culture, which will be published online on the association’s website, printed and distributed by the national coordinators on various media (brochures, posters, press releases, websites, etc.) all over Europe.
The poster must include the AEPJ logo (including the Council of Europe logo), the EU flag with the text “Co-funded by the European Union” and the National Library of Israel logo; the word “Memory” and the name of all participating countries.