Dr. Maroš Borský, director of the Jewish Community Museum in Bratislava, Slovakia will give an overview of the remarkable life of Jewish heritage pioneer Eurgen Bárkány, the collection he built, and its future. He will also discuss current synagogue restoration projects in Slovakia and major achievements of the past decade.
Eugen Bárkány (1885–1967) was a civil engineer and successful entrepreneur during the interwar period – and passionate collector in Eastern Slovakia. In 1928, he became a director of the Slovakia´s first Jewish museum in Prešov, which was a private initiative of the Jewish museum association, which Bárkány chaired. The museum assembled a remarkable collection, which survived the war and from 1952–1993 was stored at the State Jewish Museum in Prague, before it was returned to the Jewish Community of Prešov.
Bárkány hid in Budapest in 1942–1945 and returned to Prešov in 1945, where he was subsequently persecuted by the Communist regime, which expelled him from his city. In 1955, Bárkány settled down in Bratislava, where he lived in humble conditions. He continued his survey of Jewish heritage and travelled extensively around Slovakia. In Bratislava, Bárkány assembled another Judaica collection in the Neolog synagogue, and in 1966 a new Jewish museum was planned. This project was not fulfilled, the synagogue was demolished in 1969 and the collection deposited at the Slovak National Museum, from where it returned only in 2002. In 2012, the Jewish Community Museum was established in Bratislava´s only synagogue, which remains in use as an Orthodox house of worship. Since 2016, the Eugen Bárkány Prize has been awarded annually for achievements in Jewish heritage preservation by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Slovakia.
The Jewish Community Museum in Bratislava dedicated in 2018 and 2019 two exhibition projects to Eugen Bárkány and Slovakia´s first Jewish museum in Prešov. The precious collection has remained in the research and exhibition focus of the Museum.
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A native of Bratislava, Dr. Maroš Borský studied art history and Jewish studies in Bratislava, Regensburg, London, Jerusalem, and Heidelberg. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Borský was the curator at the Slovak National Museum-Museum of Jewish Culture, where he founded and oversaw Synagoga Slovaca, the documentation project of synagogue architecture in Slovakia. Dr. Borský is the director of the Jewish Community Museum and Jewish Cultural Institute in Bratislava.
The Architectural Dialogue between the St. Petersburg Jewish Community and the Tsarist Metropolis
In this lecture, Dr. Vladimir Levin will consider the uneasy relationship between the architectural oeuvre of the Jewish community and the capital city of the Russian Empire. Although concentrating on St. Petersburg, the talk will address questions and problems that many Jewish communities in European and American cities had to wrangle with. Every Jewish community that settled in a large or small city had to decide how to represent itself vis-à-vis that city, how prominent and visible should their representation should be; what are the ways to express Jewishness in the general cityscape and which means should be employed toward achieving this goal. The lecture will discuss how the Jews of St. Petersburg and their non-Jewish allies looked for a style that was best suited for marking their presence in the city, and how a unique convergence of architecture and manuscript illuminations was created to that end.
About the Speaker
Dr. Vladimir Levin is the Director of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in St. Petersburg, he holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University. He authored From Revolution to War: Jewish Politics in Russia, 1907-1914 (in Hebrew, 2016) and co-edited Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue (2010-2012). In 2017 he co-authored with Sergey Kravtsov the book Synagogue in Ukraine: Volhynia, and currently works on the book of Jewish heritage in Siberia with Anna Berezin. He also published 120 articles and essays about social and political aspects of modern Jewish history in Eastern Europe, synagogue architecture and ritual objects, Jewish religious Orthodoxy, Jewish-Muslim relations, Jews and Jewish politics in Lithuania, Russian architecture in the Holy Land, history of East-European Jewish communities etc.
Dr. Levin headed numerous research expeditions to documents synagogues and other monuments of Jewish material culture in eastern and central Europe and lead several research projects in the field of Jewish Art, the most important of which is the creation of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art – the world’s largest digital depository of Jewish heritage.
The Duomo & The Great Synagogue: An Evening of Italian Culture
An evening of Jewish and Florentine architecture, culture, music, and food.
• Informal talks about the history and architecture of two of Florence, Italy’s grandest and most iconic structures — the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (the Duomo) and the Great Synagogue — by Ross King, author of the national bestseller Brunelleschi’s Dome, and noted scholar Professor Francesco Spagnolo, Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at UC Berkeley.
• Q&A session moderated by Gail Price, former Executive Director of The American Institute of Architects Santa Clara Valley Chapter.
•The San Jose Chamber players with Cantor Sharon Bernstein presenting both Jewish and Italian songs.
• Italian appetizers and ice cream.
Experts from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain will meet for a Herrenhausen Symposium at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover to discuss the issue of reusing church buildings from a European comparative view. The intention is to develop new perspectives.
See details and program at web site
Online lecture by Leon Saltiel on his research on the destruction of the Jewish cemetery of Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece.
The lecture is sponsored by the @UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center.
A Zoom seminar about the project to restore the Jewish cemetery of Gorizia, Italy, that now lies across the border outside Nova Gorica, Slovenia. The twin cities will jointly be the European Cultural Capital in 2025, with their shared Jewish heritage playing a role. In Italian
The annual “Open Jewish Homes” Holocaust commemoration event in more than a dozen towns and cities in the Netherlands.
Small-scale, locally organized commemorative events takes place in homes where Jews (or members of the resistance) lived before, during, or just after World War II.
The web site states:
The focus is on Jewish life in these houses before, during and immediately after the war. History comes to life during Open Jewish Homes. Direct witnesses, descendants and connoisseurs tell stories about persecution, resistance and liberation on the basis of photographs, films, diary fragments, poems, literature and music. […]
The Jewish Cultural Quarter organised in 2012 the first edition of Open Jewish Homes in Amsterdam. Since then local work groups have been organising Open Jewish Homes in various other cities in the country as well. Everyone is free to initiate Open Jewish Homes in his or her place of residence.
Open Jewish Homes was conceived as a way to engage “in real life” with the interactive Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands, which personalizes the more than 104,000 victims of Holocaust in the Netherlands. Every victim has a personal page — with their home address as well as photos and other material.