The AEPJ Routes Incubator 2022 kicked off this morning in Izmir, Turkiye. This programme is not only the annual meeting point for the route managers of the member institutions of the European Routes of Jewish Heritage, but also a unique opportunity to explore, reflect, connect and learn together about the key aspects of developing Jewish heritage projects. The Incubator had not been able to be held in person for three years and was only done online, so this edition has a very special meaning for the participants and for the whole network.
The programme has been designed by the scientific committee and the AEPJ team, together with the Izmir Jewish Heritage Project, which acts as host. During three days, field visits, networking sessions, workshops and plenary meetings will take place, where the different routes that make up the European Routes of Jewish Heritage will seek to take this project to the next level.
The programme has been reinforced with the participation of different experts, as well as with the participation of institutions with which we are exploring all kinds of collaborations at different levels. These days we are also joined by Maria Laura Gasparini, from the University of Bologna, external expert of the Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, who is carrying out the regular evaluation of our route to renew the Council of Europe certification.
This morning, the programme started with the institutional greetings, as well as with a first study visit to the impressive rehabilitation project of the synagogue complex of the city of Izmir, unique in the world. The participants were also able to learn first-hand about the project’s approach to integrating into the cultural and heritage fabric of the city, representing a unique means of promoting cultural dialogue. In the afternoon, a session given by Yoel Mansfeld, member of the AEPJ Scientific Committee, focused on Disintegrating the Strategy behind developing a Jewish Cultural Route. We have just started a most exciting and inspirational journey in Izmir, which we are sure will represent a firm leap forward in the development of the project.