Fondazione De Benedetti Cherasco 1547 Onlus

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Ghetto and photographic exhibition

At the heart of this exhibition are the extraordinary photographs of Giorgio Avigdor.

 

These images are integrate with documents, maps and recent drawings, photographs of scenes which no longer exist, as well as illustrative texts.

 

The combination of materials are displayed in chronological order. In the first room a series of descriptive panels introduce the historic context and the specific theme of the exhibition.

 

The first panels describe “the diaspora” illustrating the confines of the Roman empire at its maximum extension, the events which led to the exile and the dispersion of the Jewish people in the empire itself between the first and the second century of the Christian era.

 

This is fallowed by a few panels which schematically present  the events which defined Jewish life during the Savoy dynasty; from Amadeus III (who emanated the first anti-Jewish laws) to Carlo Emanuel III who, in 1730 extended the obligation of enclosed or gated ghetto's to the entire state. Today no ghetto remains integrally conserved. Two panels illustrate the typology of the ghetto's in piedmont and the architectural characteristics of the Synagogues within these ghettos. 

 

A first set of photographs show the towns in which the synagogues are, or were until only  a few years ago, in there historical position in what was the enclosed ghetto  (Chieri, Carmagnola, Savigliano, Fossano, Cherasco, Mondovì, Saluzzo, Biella, Trino e Casale Monferrato).

 

In these cases there are images of the interiors of the synagogues and when it was possible, images of what had remained of the synagogues in 1985 when the photographs were taken.

 

There are also some photographs of the entire buildings or details of original elements which serve to illuminate the reality of those islands within the city that had been closed from sun down to sun rise, where via courtyards or balconies, stairs and passages, each home was connected to the others and above all to the synagogue. In the period of segregation, the synagogue could not be recognizable from the outside and it was located somewhat due to external force and some what for choice located where it would be difficult to access from the street.

 

Three panels of only text give there a schematic notion of the conditions in which the Jews lived during the “French” period, the restoration and after the emancipation.

 

At that time the doors of the ghettos were torn down, the synagogues enlarged and adapted to the new spirit of integration and participation to the life of the city.

 

Their layout was modified; in addition to the traditional Piedmontese form of the 1700's where the Aron-ha-kodesh was located on the eastern wall and the Tevah positioned in the center of the room and the benches organized around it, a new longitudinal form was added.

 

This arrangement positioned the readers stand and the Aron Aron-ha-kodesh on the extreme end of the building and the benches were aligned in parallel rows in front of it.

 

In this same period, decorative elements appear, such as pulpits, which until then were unknown in the Jewish tradition and were extraneous to the Jewish ritual. In other cases part of the old ghetto was destroyed in order to make way for the larger Synagogue with a rich façade that opened towards a public square displaying the new social status of the group.

Ghetto and photographic exhibition

At the heart of this exhibition are the extraordinary photographs of Giorgio Avigdor.

 

These images are integrate with documents, maps and recent drawings, photographs of scenes which no longer exist, as well as illustrative texts.

 

The combination of materials are displayed in chronological order. In the first room a series of descriptive panels introduce the historic context and the specific theme of the exhibition.

 

The first panels describe “the diaspora” illustrating the confines of the Roman empire at its maximum extension, the events which led to the exile and the dispersion of the Jewish people in the empire itself between the first and the second century of the Christian era.

 

This is fallowed by a few panels which schematically present  the events which defined Jewish life during the Savoy dynasty; from Amadeus III (who emanated the first anti-Jewish laws) to Carlo Emanuel III who, in 1730 extended the obligation of enclosed or gated ghetto's to the entire state. Today no ghetto remains integrally conserved. Two panels illustrate the typology of the ghetto's in piedmont and the architectural characteristics of the Synagogues within these ghettos. 

 

A first set of photographs show the towns in which the synagogues are, or were until only  a few years ago, in there historical position in what was the enclosed ghetto  (Chieri, Carmagnola, Savigliano, Fossano, Cherasco, Mondovì, Saluzzo, Biella, Trino e Casale Monferrato).

 

In these cases there are images of the interiors of the synagogues and when it was possible, images of what had remained of the synagogues in 1985 when the photographs were taken.

 

There are also some photographs of the entire buildings or details of original elements which serve to illuminate the reality of those islands within the city that had been closed from sun down to sun rise, where via courtyards or balconies, stairs and passages, each home was connected to the others and above all to the synagogue. In the period of segregation, the synagogue could not be recognizable from the outside and it was located somewhat due to external force and some what for choice located where it would be difficult to access from the street.

 

Three panels of only text give there a schematic notion of the conditions in which the Jews lived during the “French” period, the restoration and after the emancipation.

 

At that time the doors of the ghettos were torn down, the synagogues enlarged and adapted to the new spirit of integration and participation to the life of the city.

 

Their layout was modified; in addition to the traditional Piedmontese form of the 1700's where the Aron-ha-kodesh was located on the eastern wall and the Tevah positioned in the center of the room and the benches organized around it, a new longitudinal form was added.

 

This arrangement positioned the readers stand and the Aron Aron-ha-kodesh on the extreme end of the building and the benches were aligned in parallel rows in front of it.

 

In this same period, decorative elements appear, such as pulpits, which until then were unknown in the Jewish tradition and were extraneous to the Jewish ritual. In other cases part of the old ghetto was destroyed in order to make way for the larger Synagogue with a rich façade that opened towards a public square displaying the new social status of the group.

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