Two people, one womb:

The Jews of Italy

Wednesday, December 14

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

Rebecca, the Book of Genesis' second matriarch, Isaac's wife, feels two babies fighting each other in her womb while pregnant and goes to consult the Lord: the answer is: "Two People are in your womb, and one will fight the other".

According to a rabbinic interpretation, one people is Israel, Jacob, and the other, Esau, is Rome, Italy, Christianity. The Jews of Italy have been living in this "womb", Italy, one of the first and oldest Diasporas, before the destruction of the second Temple. They've been "stuck" together with their twin, Esau, and have embraced both identities: Jerusalem and Rome. They've felt rooted, secure and tolerated, adopted local music, food, language, style and customs more than in any other "diaspora". There have been tough times too, but overall it is a story of co-existence and mutual respect.

We'll explore the history of Jews during the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the ghettos of Venice, Mantua and Rome through emancipation, the World Wars and the present day. We'll discover language, poetry, music, theatre, liturgy and - of course - cuisine.

About Miriam

Miriam Camerini was born in Jerusalem and grew up in Milan, Italy. A graduate from the Paolo Grassi Acting School of Milan and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, she's a rabbinical student at Beit Midrash Har'El, one of the first orthodox yeshivas to ordain women rabbis. Theatre director, writer, singer and actress, Miriam worked as assistant director with director Cesare Lievi at the Opera House in Zürich and with director Lorenzo Arruga at Teatro La Fenice in Venice. She's the founder and artistic director of Benhashmashot, the first professional Jewish Theatre in Italy, based in Milan. A journalist and published author, Miriam, after years of interfaith work in dialogue and research, published a book about food and religion, Ricette e Precetti (Giuntina, Firenze 2019).

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With your contribution you will also be donating to the Jewish Community of Naples (Comunitá Ebraica di Napoli).

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