European Days of Jewish Culture 2021: Dialogue
This year’s European Days of Jewish Culture festival will be held in 36 European countries building on Jewish experiences of pluralism, engaging in dialogue with others on their experiences, and collaborating towards the lived reality of vivre ensemble.
On the occasion of the European Days of Jewish Culture 2021 to be held from the first Sunday of September, the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ) coordinates a pan-European festival around the common theme of “Dialogue” in order 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 visits and other activities, which will take place simultaneously throughout the continent.
Dialogue between cultures, the oldest and most fundamental mode of democratic conversation, is an antidote to rejection and violence. Its objective is to enable us to live together peacefully and constructively in a multicultural world and to develop a sense of community and belonging.
This year the European Days of Jewish Culture will take place under the umbrella of the European project NOA (Networks Overcoming Antisemitism), increasing awareness and appreciation for the positive role and contributions of Jewish people and communities in Europe. Cultural centers, museums, Jewish communities and Town halls will converge energies around the theme of “Dialogue” during this festival which provides impulse to a network of 400 institutions across Europe to organise guided visits, exhibitions, concerts, screening, lectures and conferences.
Participating bodies will explicitly integrate “Dialogue” into their programmes to demonstrate the theme in method and purpose to build the capacity of others to practice it as well: building on Jewish experiences of pluralism, engaging in dialogue with others on their experiences, and collaborating towards the lived reality of vivre ensemble. This perspective invites people to become aware of the enormous richness of existing diversity, represented by their own identities in the different spheres – religious, national and ethnic groups -, with the aim of achieving a positive and non-violent coexistence, and opens a door to deeply work on antisemitism issues.
The ``Dialogue`` Exhibition
With a potential involvement of 350 cities/institutions, reaching over 150,000 people under the “Dialogue” theme, the project aims for least 70 institutions to make use of the exhibition materials created by the National Library of Israel on this chosen theme. To achieve this goal, the AEPJ, acting as festival coordinators, will provide support and training to more than 400 Jewish cultural institutions across Europe with the aim of ensuring the correct implementation of the “Dialogue” theme and inspiring them to use it as a method and purpose. In addition, AEPJ will award up to 70 grants to help these institutions implement the exhibition materials created by the National Library of Israel. This exhibition will address the idea of “Dialogue” and Jewish culture from 5 different points of view and in 5 different directions: Dialogue between Jews within the community, Dialogue between generations, Dialogue between Judaism and other faiths, Dialogue between texts and Dialogue between Jewish culture and other cultures.
About the AEPJ
The European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ), NGO created in 2004, is a network of European institutions, including public bodies, private foundations, federations of Jewish communities and NGO’s, that serves as a platform to develop cultural initiatives and educational programs to European Jewish sites. The AEPJ network acts as channels for intercultural dialogue and promoting better knowledge and understanding of European history, creating awareness of cultural diversity and strengthening European citizens’ cultural identity.
The AEPJ serves as an organisational umbrella to welcome, promote, train and help develop unique Jewish cultural and heritage projects of excellence around Europe. A community, a network and a meeting point of professionals working in the field of Jewish Heritage. The AEPJ helps organisations develop their programs, offers training in the field of Jewish cultural tourism and exchange of good practices and promotes the development of transnational programs.
With a heritage approach in line with the Council of Europe, with its integrated and cross-disciplinary approach to cultural heritage and diversity, the AEPJ promotes fundamental European values of human rights, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue seeking to bring the Jewish heritage closer to all European citizens, involving them in the production, circulation and conservation of Jewish culture and heritage.
About the NOA
NOA – Networks Overcoming Antisemitism, offers a pioneering approach to tackle the problem of rising antisemitism in Europe. With its unique partnership of major Jewish networks, it will evaluate EU Member States’ policies across areas, from education to culture and security, and help them to develop holistic national action plans to address and prevent antisemitism.
European Jews have experienced a rising tide of antisemitic violence in the last ten years, so major European Jewish partners teamed up to create positive and systemic impact in European societies from grassroots level to policy-making by developing educational tools and training for communities, sport clubs, schools and public authorities; social media campaigns; cultural events and “Report Cards” for Member States to help them combat antisemitism.
In direct response to the European Council’s Declaration for Member States to adopt a holistic strategy to prevent and fight antisemitism, the NOA project provides a mechanism to support Member States in the development and implementation of national action plans and provide a wealth of socio-cultural educational resources that can reverse the tide of antisemitic attitudes. Only through such a hand-in-hand approach that marries policy and practice, security and education, transnational and national actions, can positive results be achieved in reducing the prevalence and impact of antisemitism in Europe.
The word ‘noa’ means ‘in motion’ in Hebrew, reflecting a positive movement towards a society where Jewish life will flourish and antisemitism will be curtailed. Together, the partners represent 756 national affiliates.
An online hub of good practices and resources, to be published on this website, will support Member States in the implementation of their action plans. Accompanied by various social, cultural and educational activities across the EU, the project outputs will be further multiplied via the partnership and their networks.