27 January, Holocaust Memorial Days

In conjunction with the UN-designated International Holocaust Memorial Day, OpenCoesione will be focusing on three memorial sites in Italy with the support of cohesion policies through projects dedicated to promoting Jewish traditions, culture, and religion by redeveloping and setting up infrastructures co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the 2007-2013 programming cycle within the scope of three Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs). Provided below are brief summaries along with graphical illustrations enriched with pomegranates and pomegranate seeds, symbols of brotherhood and inclusion, inspired by the project Malum Granatum: rediscovering a sense of belonging, financed by the ESF ERDF NOP “Per La Scuola 2014-2020” with the secondary school Istituto di Istruzione Superiore G. Galilei in Noci (BA), Italy:

1. Completion of the Medieval Jewish Museum in Fondi, in the region of Lazio

The project to complete the museum, with the help of funding from the Lazio ERDF ROP, began in November 2014 and was completed in October 2015 by the Ausoni Mountains and Lake Fondi regional park authority in order to redevelop the synagogue and the old Jewish quarter of Fondi, in the province of Latina (Italy).

The museum’s exhibit spaces have been set up within the 19th century building Casa degli Spiriti (House of Spirits), where visitors can follow the exhibit through five rooms featuring traditional clothing, religious artefacts, textile art and dyeing techniques, stories, and funding efforts, which testify to the presence of a Jewish community in Fondi from late antiquity until the 1500s.

Information on the museum and visiting hours may be found on the park’s website here (in Italian).

The project may be found on OpenCoesione here.

2. Restoration of the Jewish murals and construction of Museum of Memory and Hospitality in Nardò (Puglia)

The story of a great many Jewish refugees, in large part not Italians, who lived in Puglia in camps set up from the end of 1943 to 1947 is told at this museum in Nardò, in the Italian province of Lecce, which is also home to the Aliyah Bet murals by the artist Zvi Miller, who stayed in the largest of the camps in Puglia, the Displaced Persons Camp no. 34 in Santa Maria al Bagno, in the municipality of Nardò.

The project, financed with Puglia ERDF ROP funding, was launched in Nardò in March 2012 and was completed in January 2013.

Information on the museum and visiting hours may be found on the museum’s website here.

The project may be found on OpenCoesione here.

3. Implementation of a Jewish studies centre in Nicotera (Calabria)

This project for the creation of a Jewish studies centre in Nicotera, in the province of Vibo Valentia, is part of a broader project to restore infrastructures in the Calabrian town aimed at developing local artistic heritage.

The overall project has been financed by Calabria ERDF ROP funding and through involvement in the Local Integrated Development Project “Borghi di eccellenza della Calabria – Provincia di Vibo Valentia”, launched in June 2015. Based on monitoring data as at 31 December 2018, the project is still underway although 80% of it has already been financed.

Creation of this Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture involves Palazzo Polito, a historical building in Nicotera, which was one of the 14 most significant Jewish communities in the region of Calabria until the late 1300s and has one of the oldest Jewish quarters.

The project may be found on OpenCoesione here.


Cohesion policies are preserving memories in bricks and mortar!