|The Spanish poster
the European Day of Jewish Culture
NEW YORK TIMES, Aug. 21 A travel
advisory by Ruth Ellen Gruber
On Sunday September 3, 2000 sixteen countries will celebrate the European Day of Jewish Culture. Throughout that day, the general public will be able to discover the historical heritage (synagogues, cemeteries, ritual baths...) and the traditions of judaism. The program will include activities specially organised for the occasion : Open Doors in sites usually closed to the general public, guided tours, exhibitions, lectures and concerts.
The project was initiated in 1996 as "Open Doors to Jewish Heritage" in the Bas-Rhin, situated in the Eastern part of France, by the Agency for the Development of Tourism in the Bas-Rhin in partnership with B'nai B'rith Hirschler, one of the Strasbourg branch of the worldwide organisation B'nai B'rith. It was then expanded to Alsace and the Rhine Valley. The number of visitors greatly increased every year. In 1999, five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland) joined the event, as an experimental step towards its Europeanisation. It was a success. The organisers then decided to gradually expand the project to the whole of Europe and to launch a "European Day of Jewish Culture". The project is headed by the Agency for the Development of Tourism in the Bas-Rhin, in coordination with B'nai B'rith Europe, the European Council of Jewish Communities and the Red de Juderias de Espana. On September 3, 2000 the event will take place simultaneously in 15 countries of Europe : Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The "European Day of Jewish Culture" has been officially selected by the Council of Europe for its campaign, "Europe, a common heritage". Beyond this one day, dedicated to meeting with the general public, the organisers aim to promote and help preserve Jewish heritage, which is an integral part of the cultural heritage of Europe.
Announced by the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC).