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Shakespeare in the Ghetto

Shakespeare in the Ghetto: Reading Venice Right to Left. Eshkolot's Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas.

December 4-7, 2017, Venice, Italy

How can you navigate Venice against the flow of tourists who have exiled more than half of the city's population in the last few decades? Many hidden passages and blank spots on the map can be discovered by exploring the books written and printed in this city from right to left — in Hebrew, Judeo-Italian, Judeo-Spanish and Yiddish.

The aim of the Eshkolot's Festival of Jewish Texts and Ideas is to re-read classical ancient and modern books in their original urban context with live commentary from university scholars, as well as to re-interpret the city text of Venice through particular codes of Jewish literature.

The festival program includes lectures, reading workshops, thematic field trips and cultural events.

Major themes:

  • Shakespeare in the Ghetto: Shylock Returns to Venice. Shaul Bassi, professor of English and postcolonial literature at Ca’Foscari University of Venice.
  • Knights in the Streets of the Ghetto: Yiddish Poetry of Italian Renaissance. Arnaud Bikard, scholar of literature at Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV).
  • Safed in Venice: Lurianic Kabbalah in Italy. Yoel Regev, guest professor of philosophy at the European University (St. Petersburg).
  • Russian Moor in Venice: Joseph Brodsky and Orientalism. Sanna Turoma, professor of Russian literature at the University of Helsinki.
  • Music of the Ghetto: Jewish-Italian Songs and Dances of Venetian Renaissance. Avery Gosfield, director of Early Music Ensemble Lucidarium.


Conditions of Participation:

Eshkolot's donors (Genesis Philanthropy Group and Avi Chai Foundation) cover accommodation, meals and tuition. 
Participation fee is 10 000 RUR for Russian residents and $200 for all other participants.

The festival starts on December 4 in the morning and ends on December 7 late in the evening (hotel accommodation is covered from 3/12/17 till 8/12/17), travel and visa expenses to Venice are not covered.

In order to apply for participation in the festival one should fill the online application form no later than September 25, 2017. The number of the festival participants is limited, so that the organizers will approve only selected applications. The selection is based on the information in the application forms (essays, academic achievement) and distribution criteria (geography, age, gender).
The final approval and fee payment information will be sent to the applicants no later than October 1, 2017.

Applications are received from citizens of all countries regardless of their ethnicity and religious identity.

With any questions please write to: eshkolot.project@gmail.com