TUESDAY
February 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 42
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
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JEWS AND CATHOLICS MEET IN ROME TO PREPARE PAPAL TRIP TO JERUSALEM
Three Meetings to Study Faith and Culture of Hebrew People

    ROME, FEB 27 (ZENIT).- Beginning March 15, the St. Andrew Association of the Quirinale for the Roman Jubilee and the Pontifical Gregorian University are offering three conferences in connection with the Pope's forthcoming trip to the Holy Land. The events are intended to learn more about the Jewish culture and religion, and to discover the common roots of Christians and their elder brothers.

    The initiative of these two institutions is added to the collaboration of the Israeli Embassies in the Vatican and Italy, and the Jewish community in Rome, the principal objective being to provide quality dialogue and collaboration between the believers in the one God, Father of humanity.

    The first event is an exhibition entitled, "From the Temple of Jerusalem to the Synagogue: Pilgrimage Celebrations and the Western Wall," which will begin in March 15 at 6 p.m. in the portico of the Pontifical Gregorian University; it will remain open until April 12, 2000. The exhibition includes a series of precious objects, on loan from the Jewish Community in Rome, and 25 photographs of Jerusalem's Western Wall. The objects, which belong to Five Schools, and the old "ghetto" synagogues of Rome, are still used on great feasts, such as Succoth (Feast of Tents), Pesach (Easter) and Shavuoth (Celebration of the Law) observed in the Diaspora; they substitute pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem. The pictures are the photographic work of Michal Ronnen Safdie who for years has photographed the areas surrounding the Western Wall, what remains of the support structure that encircled the Second Temple. The photography succeeds in capturing the different facets of life in Israel and Jerusalem.

    The second event is a concert with first class Israeli musicians: Mira Zakai, mezzo soprano; Jonathan Zak, piano; and Gilad Hildesheim, violin. They will play a rich selection of music with texts from the Biblical and Jewish tradition. The concert will be held on Wednesday, March 15, at 8:30 p.m. in the "Caravita" Oratory.

    Finally, a conference is scheduled on "Thirty-five Years of Excavations in Jerusalem," which will be led by Professor of Archeology Dan Bahat, of the Bar-Ilan University in Israel. This event will take place in the main auditorium of the Pontifical Gregorian University on March 20 at 5 p.m. Professor Bahat was superintendent of Jerusalem until 1990, and has directed numerous excavations, including Masada and the Palace of the Herods in Jerusalem.

    This triple cultural proposal, just two weeks before the Pope's trip to the Holy Land is "an occasion to discover, behind the metaphors surrounding the pilgrimage and the Holy City, the universal invitation to a common road to peace and fraternity among all peoples," the organizers said. ZE00022701

          

February 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 42
NEWS & VIEWS

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