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Promoting the study and knowledge of Jewish culture by financing research, programs and activities in the academic field. This is the goal of the new Judaica Center promoted and supported by the Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation in collaboration with the University of Italian Switzerland and the Faculty of Theology of Lugano.

The signing of the agreement for the creation of the Center has taken place Wednesday 27 January 2021, in conjunction with the Day of Remembrance, at the West Campus of USI in the presence of Prof. Boas Erez, Rector of USI, Prof. René Roux, Rector of the Faculty of Theology of Lugano, and Micaela Goren Monti, President Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation.

Jewish history, religion and culture have played a very important role in the formation and development of modern thought and even today, in light of the social balances and transformations taking place in the Mediterranean basin, the need to develop the knowledge relating to the major cultural subjects present in this geographical area.

These are the premises that pushed the Goren Monti Ferrari Foundation to want to promote the study and knowledge of Jewish culture through funding of research, courses, seminars and programs established within the academic panorama ofUniversity of Italian Switzerland and the Faculty of Theology of Lugano.

The important collaboration between the Foundation, USI and FTL has led to the signing of an agreement for the creation of the new Goren Monti Ferrari Judaica Center, which has the aim of encouraging the carrying out of research and teaching activities in relation to Jewish culture with particular attention to the relationship with the territory of the Canton of Ticino.

In particular, the Foundation intends to promote the project A bridge for peace in the Mediterranean Area – in line with USI's important MEM Freethinking Platform project, consolidate the dialogue between universities and the territory as well as the national and international network on the topic.

The activities of the new GMF Judaica Center, based within the USI on the Lugano Campus, will have the advantage of fitting into the network of other centers of similar intent that already exist in the Confederation and developing strong links with the centers that the Goren- Goldstein Foundation created in Israel (Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University), in the United States (New York University) and with the Institute of Jewish Studies of the Freie Universität Berlin, directed by prof. Giulio Busi, delegate of the Foundation.

According to Micaela Goren Monti, president of the Foundation, "the establishment of the Center will also be an opportunity to develop a further historical-sociological trend, linked to diaspora, memory, citizenship in order to provide a fundamental contribution to the construction of a social fabric and organizational capable of experiencing diversity within a framework of shared principles and values, without however erasing the roots of its identity". For Professor Boas Erez, Rector of USI, "the project allows us to structure realities already present in the area in the form of initiatives which now, thanks to the agreement, are part of a promising reference framework".

As representatives for USI and FTL, the project will be followed by Giacomo Jori, Extraordinary Professor of Italian Literature at USI and deputy director of the «Rivista di Storia e Letteratura Religiosa», and Marcello Fidanzio, Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Theology of Lugano, director of the Institute of Culture and Archeology of Biblical Lands FTL. For Giacomo Jori, the new Goren Monti Ferrari Judaica Center "intensifies the link between the academic institutions of the area and the Foundation, which since 2016 has supported university courses in archaeology, philosophy, law, biblical history and Jewish culture.

The signing for the convention takes place on Remembrance Day 2021, in line with the purpose of the GMFF: Planning the future so as not to forget the past. In the 25 years of USI, the Judaica Center has been part of a series of important occasions for the cultural and scientific consolidation of the University, from the acquisition of the Library of the great scholar Carlo Dionisotti to the establishment of the Middle East Mediterranean (MEM) Freethinking Platform" .

“The Judaica Center offers a precious resource for the FTL and USI”, underlines Marcello Fidanzio, recalling that “thanks to the network of Goren study centers present in various universities around the world, the Judaica Studies Center of Lugano was born with privileged relationships. The creation of the Center represents an important step for academic activity in Ticino which is young, dynamic and will continue to grow thanks to it"