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December 2012

Thursday 5 December, 6 p.m.:  As for František Škroup´s Activities in the Synagogue in Dušní Street or how the Prague Jews Met Modernity and Dissimilarity. A little-known fact is that a Catholic of Czech origin and a composer of a song which became the Czech anthem František Škroup (1801 – 1862) was as one of  participants in the first attempts to introduce important changes in Jewish religious culture in the Czech Lands. The music practises, through which he transformed the shape of Jewish ritual in the synagogue in Dušní street in Prague in the years 1836 – 1848 within the Society for Adapted Worship of Israelites, gradually spread into most Jewish communities in the Czech lands where they - with only a few exceptions - perished one century later as a consequence of the Holocaust. A lecture by Veronika Seidlová, who with the help of accessible sources, discovers the details on Škoup´s activities in the synagogue which had not yet been discovered. She shows music as an indicator of a wider cultural transformation of the Czech Jews in the 19th century.

 

 Thursday 6 December, 6 p.m.: Vedem: The Way of Terezín´s Boys Still Goes On.  The opening evening presents the life and work of the boys from Home No. 1 in the Terezín ghetto, particularly the self-rule and the magazine Vedem, which reflected both the life of the boys and the whole ghetto for almost two years. Young people from various parts of the Czech Republic linked the work of the “boys from No. 1” within the framework of the competition “Take up the Terezín Torch.” Their works will be presented in the Department for Education of the Jewish Museum in Prague as well. The evening will be accompanied by a music performance given by students and tutors from the general secondary school Přírodní škola, which organizes the exhibition in collaboration with the Department.

 

Wednesday 12 December, 6 p.m.: Jud Süss – from a Real Man to a Film Phantom. Who was or is Jud Süss? Is he a novel character, a film baddie or a folk legend which was made famous by propaganda machinery? At the beginning there was a concrete living man, ambitious financier Joseph Süss Oppenheimer (1692 – 1738), a court Jew of the Duke of Württemberg. He was also an intellectual, a seducer and a liberal; a harsh tax collector but also a reformer who increased the land´s economy. Finally he lost his game against political pressures and contemporary prejudices. The trial, during which he was sentenced to death, was similar to the political show trials of the 20th century. His life for various reasons became a model for many literary works, when each author inserted his own images, ideals and fears into the story of Süss. Paradoxically his biggest fame was brought by the Nazi film “Jud Süβ” in 1940 whose purpose was to dehumanize the future victims of the planned genocide. A lecture by Jan Fingerland within the series “Jews as People and as Images” which aims to present the various types of “imaginary Jews” and their role in European history.   

 

Thursday 13 December, 6 p.m.:  The Gates of the Righteous: the Synagogues of Moravia, Silesia and Bohemia.  This time architect Jaroslav Klenovský – highly regarded as an expert in Jewish sites – will be a guest of Petr Brod. He is the author of texts in the book of the same name which was recently published (Foto studio H, 2012). The book captures fifty-four synagogues in the territory of the Czech Republic in large-size photographs taken by photographer Ludmila Hájková. The book will available for purchase.

 

Tuesday 11 December, 6 p.m.: Judaism through the Eyes of Jewish Luminaries: Joseph Ber Soloveitchik.  This series of lectures presents the profiles of ten Jewish scholars from the Middle Ages to the present, each of them bringing a unique vision of Jewish tradition. Milan Lyčka from the Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University will introduce one of the most important personalities of modern orthodoxy from the second half of the 20th century. Milan Lyčka systematically deals with the legacy of this author. Besides his monograph The Philosophy of Religion of Joseph Soloveitchik (Academia, 2010) he is a translator of Solovietchik ´s most influential work Halakhic Man (Academia, 2012). The study materials concerning this topic will be available at the lecture. This series was prepared thanks to courteous support from NFOH (Foundation for Holocaust Victims).

 

Sunday programme for children and their parents

9 December, 2 p.m.: Lion Cub Arje Celebrates Chanukah

Do you know what the Chanukah candelabra is called and how many arms it has? Or why they eat sufganijot and latkes? Come to learn something new and taste Chanukah delicacies.

Tour: The Spanish Synagogue   

 

                                                   

                                                                                              Flat admission CZK 50,-

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