New Centro di Judaica Goren Monti Ferrari

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Right to left: Boas Erez, Micaela Goren Monti, RenÚ Roux
Right to left: Boas Erez, Micaela Goren Monti, RenÚ Roux

The Centro di Judaica is promoted and supported by Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation in collaboration with UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana and the Faculty of Theology of Lugano. It aims to promote the study and knowledge of Jewish culture by financing research, programmes and activities in the academic world. The agreement for the creation of the centre has been signed on Wednesday, 27 January 2021, on Holocaust Memorial Day, at USI West Campus in the presence of USI Rector, Prof. Boas Erez, the Rector of the Faculty of Theology of Lugano Prof. RenÚ Roux, and Micaela Goren Monti, President of the Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation.

Jewish history, religion and culture have played a vital role in shaping and developing modern thought. Still today, in light of the balances and social transformations taking place in the Mediterranean region, there is a pressing need to further the understanding of the major cultural subjects of this geographic area. Under these premises, the Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation intends to promote the study of Jewish culture by funding research, courses, seminars, and programmes within UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana and the Faculty of Theology of Lugano.

The important collaboration between the Foundation, USI and FTL has led to the signing of an agreement to create the new Centro di Judaica Goren Monti Ferrari , to carry out research and teaching activities related to Jewish culture with a focus on the relationship with Canton Ticino. Specifically, the Foundation intends to promote the project A bridge for peace in the Mediterranean Area, in line with the important USI project MEM Freethinking Platform, to consolidate the dialogue between the university and the region as well as the national and international network.

Based in Lugano at USI, the activities of the new Centro di Judaica GMF will benefit from the network of other centres of similar purpose already active in the Confederation. It will also develop strong ties with the centres created by the Foundation in Israel (Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University), in the United States (New York University) and with the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Freie Universitńt Berlin, directed by Prof. Giulio Busi, a delegate of the Foundation.

According to the President of the Foundation, Micaela Goren Monti , "the creation of the centre will also be an opportunity to develop a further socio-historical strand, related to diaspora, remembrance, and citizenship in order to provide a fundamental contribution to the shaping of a social and organisational fabric that can live diversity through shared principles and values, without erasing the roots of its own identity".

According to USI Rector, Professor Boas Erez , "the project will give structure to the initiatives that are already present on the territory and which are now part of a promising framework of reference".

Supervising the project as representatives for USI and FTL will be Giacomo Jori , Associate Professor of Italian Literature at USI and vice-director of the "Rivista di Storia e Letteratura Religiosa", and Marcello Fidanzio , Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology of Lugano, director of the Istituto di Cultura e Archeologia delle terre Bibliche FTL, will follow the project.

For Giacomo Jori , the new Centro di Judaica Goren Monti Ferrari "intensifies the link between the region’s academic institutions and the Foundation, which since 2016 has been supporting university courses in archaeology, philosophy, law, biblical history, and Jewish culture. The signing of the agreement took place on Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, in harmony with the purpose of the GMFF: Designing the future not to forget the past. In the 25 years of USI, Centro di Judaica is part of a series of important opportunities for cultural and scientific consolidation of the University, from the acquisition of the Library of the great scholar Carlo Dionisotti to the creation of the Middle East Mediterranean (MEM) Freethinking Platform".

"The Centro di studi Judaica is to be considered a precious resource for FTL and USI" underlines Marcello Fidanzio remembering that "thanks to the network of the Goren study centres in several universities around the world, the Centro di studi Judaica in Lugano will be able to count on privileged relations. The birth of the centre represents an important step for the young and dynamic academic life in Ticino, which will continue to grow also thanks to its support".