In a significant stride towards inclusive education and heritage preservation, the kick-off meeting and conference of the European Pathways to Minority Religious Heritage (MIRETAGE) project commenced on Monday at the Centre for Religion Studies of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. AEPJ proudly participates as an associate partner, actively contributing to the project’s mission and exploring collaborative avenues within the framework of the development of Jewish heritage routes.
The MIRETAGE project aims to foster inclusive education and heritage by developing innovative methods for adult education in heritage labs and heritage trails. Heritage labs bring together diverse communities of learners with cultural heritage associations engaged in public education. Collaboratively, these groups co-create heritage trails that interlink the memories, sites, and histories of minority communities with other heritage spaces. The trails, utilizing both physical and digital mapping methods, create educational pathways beneficial to both learners and heritage institutions. AEPJ’s involvement includes methodological development in constructing routes, exploring synergies with training programs like the Route Incubator, and contributing to the development of Jewish heritage routes and their connection with the European Routes of Jewish Heritage, certified by the Council of Europe.
As a significant highlight within the framework of the conference, the launch of the open-access publication “The Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion and Heritage in Contemporary Europe” took place on Tuesday at the University of Groningen. This handbook, a state-of-the-art guide to public debates and scholarship on religious heritage in contemporary Europe, features contributions from scholars, policy makers, and heritage practitioners.
The publication delves into the shifting significance of Europe’s historic religious spaces caught between declining numbers of worshippers, increasing tourism, and the pressure to find new uses. It also examines the crucial role religious heritage plays in political discourse, reflecting both inclusion and exclusion of religious minorities.
Victor Sorenssen, Director of AEPJ, and researcher Dr. Julia Martinez from the University of Groningen have contributed a chapter to the handbook. Both participated in a panel discussion on Jewish heritage during the book launch, offering valuable insights into the challenges and significance of Jewish heritage in contemporary Europe.
AEPJ remains committed to actively shaping the narrative around minority religious heritage and contributing to inclusive education initiatives on a European scale.