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JWeekly: `Shalom Italia' Celebrates Heritage of Italian Jews – 02.12.1996

JWeekly: `Shalom Italia' Celebrates Heritage of Italian Jews – 02.12.1996

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j. the Jewish News Weekly of Norther California
`Shalom Italia' Celebrates Heritage of Italian Jews
by Theresa Strasser, Bulletin Staff
j. the Jewish News Weekly of Norther California
`Shalom Italia' Celebrates Heritage of Italian Jews
by Theresa Strasser, Bulletin Staff

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life on Aug 06, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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8/5/10 11:18 PM`Shalom Italia' celebrates heritage of Italian Jews | j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern CaliforniaPage 1 of 2http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/2301/-shalom-italia-celebrates-heritage-of-italian-jews/
Friday, January 12, 1996 | return to:local
`Shalom Italia’ celebrates heritage of Italian Jews
by TERESA STRASSER, Bulletin Staff 
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For one thing, it informs us that Jews like Colli were widelyaccepted into the mainstream Christian culture of Italy, at atime when this was not the case in other parts of Europe. TheLatin wording on the University of Padua document says, "Inthe Lord's eternal name," not "In Christ's eternal name," aswas usually the custom. Colli's diploma was changedso as notto offend him.The document is partof "The Italian Jewish Heritage: Selections from the Magnes Museum Collections," which opensSaturday,Jan. 13 and kicks of f a four-month celebration of Italian Jewish culture,"Shalom Italia." The event opens with a feast for the eyes at the museum, and concludes inApril with a feast for the stomach, an Italian-inspired Passover dinnerserved by celebrated chef Joyce Goldstein atSquare One Restaurant. Inbetween are lectures, films andconcerts highlighting the achievements of  Italian Jewish artists and scientists throughout history."It's a very unknownreality. Many people are amazed hearing there areJews in Italy," says Shalom Italia chair Esther Prigioni, a Swiss Jew who is married to Italian ConsulGeneral Giulio Prigioni."In fact, it's the oldest Jewish community that has continually existed in the western world," she adds."There's been no interruption for the last 2,000 years. They gave us a very rich heritage in culture,economics, politics, you name it."Shalom Italia aims to display treasures of this legacy, from the work of Italian Jewish composer MarioCastelnuovo-Tedesco, which the Sausalito String Quartet will perform in March, to the writings of scientist and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi, which U.C. Berkeley Professor of Italian Gian-Paolo Biasinwill discuss in February.Film screenings include "The Righteous Enemy," a 1987 film about Italian resistance to the FinalSolution. After the film's screening in early February, Ginetta Sagan will discuss her years in the anti-fascist resistance in Italy. Sagan was the co-founder of Amnesty International in the Bay Area.Italian Jewry was decimated during World War II. Deportation and Mussolini's anti-Jewish campaigncut the country's Jewish population by 40 percent.Today, the Jewish community numbers 34,500 Jews, concentrated mostly in Rome and Milan. Despiteits small size, Prigioni says contemporary Italian Jewry continues to have a strong cultural impact.As part of Shalom Italia, 1985 Nobel Prize winner Franco Modigliani will be discussing both economicsand growing up in Italy. Author Alexander Stille will read from his acclaimed novel "Benevolence andBetrayal," which follows five Italian families under fascism.Tania Coen, who will be giving a lecture on Italian ketubot (marriage contracts), says she hopesShalom Italia will educate Bay Area Jews about a community most find mysterious. Coen, who grew up
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