The European Days of Jewish Culture, an annual festival organised by the AEPJ (Association and Preservation of European Jewish Heritage), has been granted the esteemed patronage of UNESCO, marking a significant recognition of its cultural and historical significance. This year, the festival revolves around the theme of ‘memory,’ delving into the rich tapestry of Jewish heritage and history across Europe. The Together Plan is a dedicated member of the AEPJ, who, in partnership with the International Public Organization Dialog and the Religious Jewish Union of Belarus are this year orchestrating two poignant events in Belarus.
As the world grapples with the passage of time and its effect on collective memory, the theme of ‘memory’ is acutely pertinent. The European Days of Jewish Culture, with its UNESCO patronage, underscores the importance of preserving and commemorating the history and culture of European Jewry. The festival serves as a bridge between the past and the present, inviting people of diverse backgrounds to engage with the multifaceted heritage of Jewish communities in Europe.
The Together Plan is committed to revitalizing Jewish communities and cultural heritage across Belarus and other regions. On October 23rd, a solemn commemoration event is scheduled to honor the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the Minsk Ghetto. The event not only pays homage to the lives lost but also fosters an environment of remembrance, ensuring that the tragic events of the past are never forgotten.
The commemoration event includes a procession through Minsk, retracing the path of history to sites where countless Jews lost their lives during the dark days of the Holocaust. This procession is not just a physical journey but a powerful emotional and historical one, connecting participants with the past and allowing them to stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors.
Adding another layer to their participation, The Together Plan presents the art exhibition titled ‘Jewish Minsk Before Me,’ featuring the poignant works of graphic artist Bogdan Dovgyalo. The exhibition serves as a visual testament to the vibrant Jewish life that thrived in Minsk before the Holocaust. Dovgyalo’s art captures the essence of a community rich in culture, tradition, and shared experiences. Several of the pieces are dedicated to the Minsk Ghetto, paying homage to those whose lives were tragically cut short.
The timing of this art exhibition is particularly poignant, as it coincides with the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the Minsk Ghetto. The artworks will be displayed within the hallowed halls of the main synagogue of Belarus, resonating with the collective memory of the Jewish community. Moreover, the opening of the new Minsk Jewish Heritage Centre serves as a beacon of hope, a place where history and heritage can be preserved and passed onto future generations.
The European Days of Jewish Culture, now under the patronage of UNESCO, is an embodiment of the collective effort to honor, preserve, and celebrate the memory of European Jewish heritage. The Together Plan, with their commemoration event and art exhibition, stands as a shining example of this commitment. By commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Minsk Ghetto’s liquidation and showcasing the vibrant pre-Holocaust Jewish life through art, they reinforce the importance of memory and its role in shaping a more empathetic and understanding world. Through these events, the festival not only looks back but also forward, inspiring a renewed dedication to preserving cultural heritage and fostering unity amidst diversity.
For more information on Bogdan Dovgyalo and how you can commission him please click here