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THE PROMISED LAND. Towards Israel, the country milk and honey

On the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel, the Jewish Museum of Rome inaugurates the photo exhibition THE PROMISED LAND. Towards Israel, the country milk and honey.

The destruction of the second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 of the Christian Era virtually sanctioned the beginning of the diaspora, or the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world.

Jews lived in Europe for centuries with alternating fortunes and, even at a time of great integration into contemporary civil society in the 1800s, there was a strong need to respond to the problem of anti-Semitism which, in a seemingly paradoxical way, was growing strongly and which would be expressed in dramatic terms during the Second World War.

For this reason, Teodoro Herzl, a Jewish journalist of Hungarian nationality, hypothesized the birth of a state where Jews could live in peace.

With the 1917 declaration of British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour, the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine was supported.

The creation of the State of Israel was extremely difficult and only the geopolitical upheaval that occurred following the end of the Second World War, which was associated with the Holocaust drama, allowed the birth of an independent nation, which took place on May 14, 1948.

The presence of the Jewish population in the land of Israel represents only a part, albeit significant, of the deep bond of the Jews with the Promised Land.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by the quote from the book Exodus of the Torah:

The Lord tells Moses: “I have come down to deliver [this people of Israel] from the hand of Egypt and to make it come out of this country to a beautiful and spacious country, to a country where milk and honey flow”.

The Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Rome preserves precious material concerning life in the then mandated Palestine; specifically we refer to about 100 photographs, found during the reorganization of the Archive itself, datable to the twenties-thirties of the twentieth century.

The images on display, a selection of about 40 photographs, depict landscapes and people, a symbol of a disappeared or profoundly modified society of the State of Israel, which in the last seventy years has become, in cultural and technological terms, one of the most developed countries in the world.

On this occasion, the original declaration of the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 is also exhibited for the first time. The specimen, kept at the Jewish Museum of Rome, is one of the eight existing originals in the world.

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