The Foundation for Jewish Heritage has led an initiative that secured European Union funding to create a network of cities and towns across Europe focused on promoting Jewish heritage.
The Foundation facilitated the creation of a consortium of organisations from five countries - Poland, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Foundation itself in the UK - to apply for this grant from the EU’s ‘Europe for Citizens’ programme.
This initiative will develop a pan-European forum of cities and towns that have Jewish heritage as a significant part of their cultural offer in order to discuss models, share best practice, and discuss issues and challenges. It will include establishing a website linked to a social media platform and a database of Jewish heritage experts. However, the core of the programme will be a series of seminars on a range of contemporary topics relevant to the field.
The application builds on the success of the International Conference ‘Urban Jewish Heritage: Presence and Absence’ that was held in Krakow, Poland, last September as part of EU’s 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Michael Mail, Foundation for Jewish Heritage Chief Executive, explains: “One of the key aspects of the European Year was legacy, ie. that there are outcomes that continue beyond 2018. This Europe for Citizens Programme grant represents the EU’s commitment to build on the success of the Krakow Conference and promote further the issue of Jewish Heritage preservation.”
The grant comes in the wake of the Foundation being appointed the expert body assisting the Council of Europe Culture Committee in undertaking research into the current state of Jewish heritage preservation in Europe today.
“Many people working in the field of Jewish heritage can feel quite isolated,” continues Mr Mail. “This network will provide a vehicle for experts and practitioners to connect, share experiences and collectively address common problems. We are delighted to have received this financial support – and this further recognition from the EU of the importance of preserving and promoting the Jewish heritage of Europe.”