Giacomo Moscati, vice-president of the Jewish Community of Rome and Joyce Sarner, documentarian.
Giacomo Moscati offers a visual tour of the museum and its magnificent silver and textile collections, introducing the public to the history of Roman Jews between the establishment of the ghetto and the emancipation of 1870. The program will delve into stories of the families that made up a small but highly multicultural Jewish society that was forced to reinvent itself in segregation. Moments of harsh repression and times of relative tolerance forged a culture and a mindset that still distinguishes the Roman community.
The presentation features a collection of photographs of the Grande Tempio and of its extraordinary collection of liturgical objects, books, manuscripts, silver and textiles. The temple, which is today one of 18 functioning synagogues in the city, was built in 1904 following the demolition of the “Cinque Scole,” the five synagogue of the ghetto that for almost four centuries were the center of Roman Jewish communal and political life and learning. Giacomo Moscati will recount the stories of these objects and explain how each one of the them resisted centuries of humiliation, censorship, theological pressure and economic impositions, and how each one of them is regarded a a symbol of resilience having survived the ghetto era, the turmoil of emancipation and, in 1943, looting by the Nazis.
Giacomo Moscati is vice-president of the Jewish Community of Rome and in charge of International relations. During many years of collaboration with his late wife, art historian and Director of the Jewish Museum of Rome, Daniela Di Castro, he developed a series of presentations of the community’s treasures. He participated in conferences and seminars on Roman Jewish art and the synagogues of Rome from the pre-Christian era to the monumental temple of 1904. His latest publication is dedicated to the object donated by the Baraffael family to the synagogue called Scola Nova. His volume on the synagogues of Roman Jews of Spanish discount is currently being republished. Mr. Moscati is a physician and the director of the Oncology Unit at the St. Andrea Hospital in Rome.
Joyce Sarner is a graduate of New York University and the Commercial Theater Institute. Her work in the arts include off-Broadway theater, film and audio books. Her documentary films are educational and explore the cultural life of communities. The most recent film, Once in Sepharad, explores the culture and creativity of the Jews in Medieval Spain.