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I-Tal-Yah: An Island of Divine Dew. Italian Crossroads in Jewish Culture



I-Tal-Yah: An Island of Divine Dew. Italian Crossroads in Jewish Culture

An exhibition marking the 500th Anniversary of the founding of the Venice Ghetto (1516)
On view: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - Friday, December 16, 2016

Opening: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 5 pm
The Magnes Museum - 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

  • 500 Years from the Venice Ghetto
    John Efron, Koret Professor of Jewish History & Francesco Spagnolo, Curator of The Magnes
  • Ars Minerva: Music from 17th-Century Venice
    Céline Ricci, Soprano & Derek Tam, Harpsichord

The program is presented by the Magnes Museum in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco and the Program for the Study of Italy, UC Berkeley

Free and open to the public
RSVP at by September 1, 2016

Never before the creation of the State of Israel did Jews of so many origins live together, and in such a stimulating environment, as they did in the land they soon started calling in Hebrew i-tal-yah, an “Island of Divine Dew”.

A crossroad of world cultures, Italy has been for over two millennia a haven for Italian, Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, in the heartland of Christianity. The Italian-Jewish symbiosis flourished with the Modern Era, in the Renaissance ghettos, continuing through the 19th-century Emancipation, and up to the present.

Thus, Jewish Italy appears before our eyes both as a time capsule, where ancient cultural traits have been safely preserved, and as a laboratory, in which such traits were adapted to constantly changing living conditions. Italian Jews successfully negotiated their way across tradition, diversity, religious conflicts, emancipation, cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism, all at the very heart of Christianity.

All major Jewish museum collections include important artifacts from Italy, and the Magnes is no exception. This exhibition presents a selection of manuscripts, books, ritual objects, textiles, photographs and postcards collected by The Magnes over five decades to investigate the global significance of Jewish history in Italy.

About Ars Minerva
ARS MINERVA is a San Francisco-based non-profit performing arts organizationcreated in 2013 by Céline Ricci with the mission of pioneering innovative solutions to bring new and younger audiences to the world of classical music. In 2015 Ars Minerva team has produced its first Modern World Premiere, La Cleopatra, an opera composed by Daniele da Castrovillari, originally created for the 1662 Carnival season and never played since. In May 2016, for the second year of operation, they have recreated The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles composed in 1679 by Carlo Pallavicino.

The city of Venice in Italy has played an important role in the development of music. Francesco Cavalli, Antonio Caldara and Antonio Vivaldi, were three Venetian emblematic composers who have influenced generations of musicians and created masterpieces which have enchanted audiences through centuries. For this event Ars Minerva will perform three of their vocal works full of passion and refinement.


Date: Da Tuesday, November 01, 2016 a Friday, December 16, 2016

Time: At 5:00 pm

Organized by : The Magnes Museum

In collaboration with : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : Free


The Magnes Museum, Berkeley