Lecture: Venice – Safe Haven by Avery Gosfield

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Our Jewish Week evening on the 14.11. dedicated to the topic “Venice – A safe haven” started with a cosy potluck dinner, where people had brought a Noodle Kugel, Herring under a fur coat, homemade hummus and flatbread, a vegetable salad, vegan spreads and baguette as well as fresh fruit. While everybody was still enjoying the meal, one of our staff members introduced the JKPeV-project HANNAH – challenging and debunking antisemitic myths and the finalzed outputs of the project, like a free of charge online course about Jewish life and history in Germany, Greece, Poland and Serbia.


At 19:00, Avery Gosfield, director of the Jüdische Musik und Theaterwoche Dresden started with her lecture about one topic dear to her heart, the history of the Jewish community of one of her favourite cities: Venice. She started by describing the diversity of the Jewish community in Italy in the Middle Ages and early modern times, that consisted of Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardic Jews, the Italian Jews with their own rite as well as Levantine and Greek Jews and others. She explained the complex politics that lead to the founding of the Venetian Ghetto that forced the Jews to live in a crowded part of the town, but also created a haven for them, where they could live in peace and with a permanent status. She further talked about the culture that developed there, especially what we know about the music and talked about the rabbi Leone Modena, who wrote an insightful autobiography that tells us a lot about the time. She moved on showing examples of renaissance music that she and her Ensemble Lucidarium played in a concert titled “Sounds from Shylock’s Venice”. With the sounds of this concerts and more food and drinks the evening slowly came to an end with lively discussions.


Lucidarium – Sounds from Shylock’s Venice: