Oradea to host EuroJudaica international festival, September 3-9

Oradea will host, as a first, the EuroJudaica international festival, September 3-9, that has a rich cultural agenda including theatre, dance, music, book presentations and releases, conferences and exhibitions, with guests from Romania and abroad.

“The EuroJudaica Festival wants to bring to the attention of the public all Jewish traditions, to include the entire Jewish artistic spectrum, meaning many events that will interest the public, such as concerts of traditional klezmer music, conferences on interesting topics, stage performances by bands from the country and abroad. We have over a hundred guests from the country and from Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and even Argentina. What is important to underline is that the festival is not designed for the Jews, but for the Oradea public and not only, for visitors who are in Oradea during that period, with the idea of getting in touch with everything that Jewish culture means,” Director of the Department of Culture of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania and Director of the Oradea Jewish Community Centre Robert Schorr told AGERPRES on Wednesday.

According to him, the EuroJudaica Festival was held in the same format only once, in 2007, under the Sibiu – European Capital of Culture programme, by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, jointly with the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Government of Romania.

On the first day of the festival, September 3, after the official opening, a guided tour by architect Cristian Puscas will introduce the public to the city of Oradea’s Jewish architectural heritage. This tour will resume on Saturday, September 9, when the festival closes.

There are 23 events in various venues, with three or four events per day. As a rule, from 11:00hrs there will be a conference on topics such as: “Rock’n’Roll Jews”, “Jewish Oradea”, “Yiddish Theatre in Interwar Romania” or “What is left of the Sephardic heritage in Romania.” Book presentations will take place in the afternoon as “Five O’clock Books,” and concerts and stage performances in the evening.

Some of the performances will take place in the synagogues of Oradea, which open their doors wide for concerts, conferences and book releases. Throughout the festival, the Sion Neolog Synagogue – multicultural centre will host a stand with the latest books of the Hasefer publishing house.

Jewish music is celebrated in all its forms, from klezmer and cantorial music to Yiddish Tango with Berti Barbera & Mariano Castro (Argentina), in a series of concerts by the bands Bucharest Klezmer Band, Pressburger Klezmer Band (Slovakia), Hakeshet Klezmer Band and Or Neurim.

Theatre occupies a central place in the festival, with five shows scheduled. There are bands from Romania, Poland and Hungary, including the famous musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” Among the guests are the State Jewish Theatre of ucharest, the Jewish Theatre of Warsaw, the Golem Theatre of Budapest.

Admission to EuroJudaica events is fee, subject to availability of seats, with the exception of the “Fiddler on the Roof” performance.

On the last day of the festival, September 9, a free dialogue with two rabbis is scheduled called “Ask the Rabbi ” at the Orthodox Synagogue, with the participation of Chief Rabbi Rafael Shaffer and Rabbi Asher Ehrenfeld.