The European Days of Jewish Culture 2023: Memory
Memory is the faculty of preservation par excellence.
The act that best defines memory is remembrance.
Henri Bergson (Lesson I)
Collective or individual, through history or narrative, Memory is the crucible in which Judaism was forged. It is through memory that it is maintained and transmitted.
The root ZHR, “remembrance” and “memory” in Hebrew, also means the “masculine”, the fertilising principle of life.
The injunctive form Z’HoR, which dominates the biblical text, gives the term the value of an existential and moral commandment. The Fourth, but also the First Commandment (Ex.20:8-11 and 2), refer explicitly to the founding and structuring aspects of memory in Judaism. Neuroscience, philosophy and psychology have now confirmed these organising and liberating values of memory.
Every Sabbath, in prayer, the Jewish home evokes the two memorial Commandments, which order time according to existential values. The Remembrance of Creation and the Sinaitic Covenant are added to this through the real and symbolic presence of each consciousness at the Giving of the Law, which implies collective responsibility before the law, as well as the capacity to give meaning to existence, but not without learning to question it.
Through transmission, inscribed in affectivity, Jewish rituals and festivals consolidate these links between memory, Law, both individual and collective responsibilities as well as the questioning of meaning.
Its exemplary character and terrible tragedies have made Jewish history and its memories an inescapable universal heritage, a kind of world consciousness that must be shared. The innumerable scientific or artistic productions that bear witness to this can provide various avenues for the development of the major theme of the EDJC 2023.
Text by Désirée Mayer, President JECJ-Lorraine, Honorary President JECPJ-France, Member of the Académie Nationale de Metz
Read more about Memory here.
The fundamental objective of this European-wide event, which has been organised since 1999, is to highlight the diversity and richness of Judaism and its local, regional and national historical importance, with the firm intention of promoting dialogue, recognition and exchange through conferences, concerts, performances, guided tours and other activities, which take place simultaneously throughout the continent.
The European Days of Jewish Culture festival is held every year around a central theme that serves as inspiration for all the activities that take place in a decentralised, pluralistic and open way from the first Sunday in September. The AEPJ has coordinated this event at European level since its beginnings, giving cohesion, visibility and relevance to the activities organised. In addition, the AEPJ offers training, resources and support to any organisation, institution or individual who wishes to organise an activity that allows Jewish culture to be shared with the whole of society.
This year’s European Days of Jewish Culture will take place under the umbrella and with funding from the European Union through its Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV), enhancing and expanding the range and quality of activities organised across Europe.
This project has been extensively reinforced by the collaboration with the National Library of Israel, which has acted as a means to develop all kinds of exhibition and educational materials, which have given an important added value to the festival while facilitating its celebration throughout the continent.
September 3rd, 2023
EDJC Coordinators’ Meeting:
February 22nd & 23rd, 2023
Events and activities from September to November 2023
Are you an organiser or do you want to organise an activity for the EDJC 2023?
Please follow our application process in order to organise a European Days of Jewish Culture 2023 activity and be featured in the official programme.