SHIRÀT HAYÀM – The Song of the Sea
Edited by Enrico Fink
Curated by Enrico Fink, this book inaugurates the Erna Finci Viterbi Chàzanut Roundtable, a workshop and program series on Italian Jewish music and liturgy established by Centro Primo Levi in memory of a dear friend and board member whose love for tradition and dedication to learning have profoundly contributed to shape the center’s principles.
This project aims at facilitating new recordings of Italian and Mediterranean cantorial music and circulating the existing ones.
Publications, recordings and essays collected for this program are available through the Online Thesaurus of Italian Jewish Music (www.jewishitalianmusic.org) designed to provide tools to those interested in learning, practicing or simply enjoying this art, including scholars, musicians, cantors and bar/bat-mitzvà students wishing to include some of this beautiful music in their liturgical repertoire.
The Thesaurus was created by Centro Leo Levi in collaboration with Centro Primo Levi, and the generous contribution of the Viterbi family of San Diego. It is being developed in collaboration with the Jewish Music Research Center of the University of Jerusalem and in partnership with the National Library of Israel, CDEC, and the Fondazione Beni Culturali Ebraici Italiani.
Sharing and participating were among Erna’s most cherished values and she regarded them as an indispensable foundation of human relations and endeavors.
For centuries, partaking in the communal prayer through the knowledge of its musical canons and variations has been an essential component of Jewish life. The repertoires that flourished in small communities throughout the Mediterranean reflect trade, travels and exchanges and resulted in a tapestry of sounds that, still preserved within local communities, can become an inspiration outside of their native environment.
Editor, Enrico Fink
A distinguished voice in Italian Jewish music, Enrico Fink is the cultural counselor of the Jewish Community of Florence and appeared regularly as performer and educator in Europe and in the U.S. He also serves as director of the Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo, whose repertoire merges mainstream and minority soundscapes and musical traditions. He has taught annual courses at the Faculty in Jewish Studies of the Italian Rabbinical College in Rome and teaches at the Bet haMidrash in Florence. In the U.S. he has held seminars at Yale University, Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Jewish themes appear prominently in his eclectic discography: Klezmer – Cronache di viaggi, Lokshen – Patrilineare, Il Ritorno Alla Fede del Cantante di Jazz, La Istoria de Purim, with Ensemble Lucidarium. In 2011 he edited La Casa dei Canti, a CD of old and new recordings of Florentine Jewish musical traditions.
This project, made of books and music, and conceived as a “portable school,” is dedicated to Erna’s life and her long journey through countries and cultures that enriched her vision and strengthened her identity.
In compiling this book, we have tried to adhere to a consistent editorial style. In the Limmud section, consisting of materials from different sources, we have mostly maintained the original styles.
Special thanks to Stella Levi, Donato Grosser, Jonathan Wajskol, Zachary Mazur, Darius Korman, Alessandra Di Castro and Olga Melasecchi.
Printed by J. Sholna, Rio de Janeiro (Brasil).