From the arrival of the Rothschild family in town, to the precious Jewish manuscripts produced, to the portraits of highly charismatic figures such as Mario Recanati, pioneer of cinematography. A wide range of themes are covered in the volume La Comunità ebraica di Napoli (1864-2014): centocinquant’anni di storia (The Jewish Community of Naples (1864-2014: one hundred and fifty years of history) realized by the Jewish Studies Centre at Naples University L’Orientale and coordinated by Giancarlo Lacerenza. Produced for this important anniversary, this collection of essays will be presented at the Naples National Library on Thursday 3 March at 11 a.m. by Mr. Lacerenza and by the journalist, Titti Marrone.
An initiative made possible due to the contribution of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, the Foundation for Jewish Cultural Heritage in Italy, the Jewish Community of Naples together with the city’s State Records Office and the Ministry for Cultural Affairs and Tourism.
The persons addressing the audience will be the Councellor of the Union, Sandro Temin, the President of the Foundation, Dario Disegni, and the President of the Jewish Community of Naples, Lydia Schapirer. With them, the Director of the Library, Mariolina Rascaglia, the Director of the Central Institute for the General Catalogue of Italian Libraries and for Bibliographical Information, Simonetta Buttò, the Director of the Naples State Records Office, Imma Ascione, and the Rector of the Orientale, Elda Morlicchio.
The volume, recounting the city’s Jewish legacy, was produced following the two exhibitions hosted by the National Library and by the State Records Office last year, where family photographs were combined with the precious furnishings of the synagogue and public documents were interweaved with private papers testifying to the deep roots of Neapolitan Jews in local society.
The contributions collected by Giancarlo Lacerenza were made by: Maria Carmela Schisani (“La Banca ‘C.M. Rothschild e figli’ di Napoli” = “The ‘C.M. Rothschild and Sons’ Bank in Naples”), Roberta Ascarelli (“Ritratto di famiglia con pittore: Moritz Oppenheim e i Rothschild di Napoli” = “Family portrait with painter: Moritz Oppenheim and the Naples Rothschilds”), Bruno Di Porto (“Momenti e figure nel rapporto fra ebrei e Mezzogiorno” = “Moments and figures in the relationship between Jews and the South of Italy”), Rosaria Savio (“Mario Recanati, un pioniere della cinematografia napoletana” = “Mario Recanati, a pioneer of Neapolitan cinematography”), Giancarlo Lacerenza (“I libri e i manoscritti ebraici della Comunità” = “Jewish books and manuscripts of the Community”), Giacomo Saban (“Da Salonicco a Napoli” = “From Salonicco to Naples”), Miriam Rebhun (“La Comunità vissuta: memorie da metà Novecento” = “The life of the Community: memories from the middle of the twentieth- century”), rav Pierpaolo Pinhas Punturello (“Il rinnovamento ebraico a Napoli” = “The Jewish renewal in Naples”), Pierangelo Di Lucchio (“La Comunità ebraica di Napoli oggi” = “The Jewish Community in Naples today”).
“With this collection of essays”, writes the Rector of the Orientale, Ms. Morlicchio in the introduction, “the intention is to add further material for study and reflection on subjects of a specialist nature. Indeed the nine texts gathered here do not offer a general vision of the history and events of the Community in the course of the XIX and XX century, but touch on a series of specific questions, ranging from economic and social history to culture, also illustrating – particularly in relation to the last three contributions – new prospects and interpretations of the present physiognomy of the Community, seen through the lens of memory or through anthropological tools.
(2 marzo 2016)