Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

European Days of Jewish Culture


Choose a country to display its program

The World of Storytelling at EDJC

Resources for the European Day of Jewish Culture

Contents provided by the National Library of Israel

Save the date: European Days of Jewish Culture 2018

Date: Sunday September 2rd, 2018. However, in several countries events and activities are being planned before and after this date.


The theme chosen for this year's edition is Storytelling. This topic was chosen by the majority of coordinators at the last meeting held in Luxembourg in March 2017. Nowadays, Storytelling is a cutting-edge tool in the dissemination strategies of historical heritage, turning this initiative into a great opportunity to explore different areas of the tangible and intangible Jewish European heritage.

The oral tradition is undoubtedly a constant in the history and collective imagination of the Jewish people. From the biblical approach, through the rich local community folk stories, to the histories of contemporary migrations, stories form a world that asks, and deserves, to be explored and discovered.

Storytelling it is a broad topic that opens many possibilities. All coordinators have complete freedom to choose and propose their own activities. However, we believe that this year's theme, added to the opportunities offered by our partnership with the National Library of Israel, allows us to be more ambitious. This year we are going to think big. For EDJC 2018 we invite all of you who wanted to join one particular activity, an event that will happen simultaneously throughout Europe. Of course, the EDJC invites you to add as many activities as you want to this initiative.

For more information, please contact Manu Valentin:

If you need extra material, contact with

We have already prepared the first containing information, different resources and ideas for storytelling activities, for planning the next edition of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2018 - Storytelling -  produced by the National Library of Israel.

From now until June, we will keep you updated, with ideas, activities and publishing materials which will lead to a complete kit, full of contents for your activities. We are very aware of your responsibility and commitment to this cultural initiative that year after year, grows and develops thanks to you. Therefore, we believe it is important:

  • That you can give us your feedback on the materials that we are sending.
  • That you can share your stories, local, national, European, to be able to add them to the final kit, and thus give the opportunity to other coordinators to use them and relate them in the EDJC. You can send us any medium be it video, podcast, written story, or any other platform you are thinking to use.
  • To tell us if you are interested in participating in a coordinated activity between several cities, where you can develop a similar program agreed between the different parties

From our part, we will continue to inform and keep you updated on materials. As you will see in the images, the EDJC has been awarded as part of the European year of cultural heritage. We are proud to be able to participate actively in the wide range of activities that will take place in Europe in this framework. For any questions, opinions, suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us: Victor Sorenssen: AEPJ,, Caron Sethill: NLI,, Rachel Oranim: NLI,, Manu Valentin: AEPJ,

EDJC 2018 In partnership with the National Library of Israel.

The World of Storytelling at EDJC (2018) by The National Library of Israel: First sources.

An introduction to the storytelling kit for European Day of Jewish Culture 2018

from the National Library of Israel

Throughout history, storytelling has been a vital part of transferring collective memory in every culture. Stories engage people of all ages, affirming who we are as people, while instilling important morals, values and messages.

Stories are how we remember. Simple facts tend to blend into the background and the noise of everyday life. When transformed into a story, the seemingly mundane is brought to life, weaved into something important and memorable. The way a story is told, the way messages are shared, can explore the deeper meaning in everyday events and objects. Telling these stories creates continuity, ensuring that traditions and cultures are passed on to future generations.

The Testimony of a Tin Suitcase: The Story Behind an Object

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Storytelling is a critical piece in the transmission of the Jewish narrative. Stories are so vital to the chronicle of Jewish history that mandated storytelling has been integrated into the customs of the Jewish calendar. As we approach the start of spring and the holiday of Passover, we are reminded of the integral purpose of the Passover Seder ritual- to tell the story of the enslavement of the Jewish people and their miraculous liberation from Egypt. In the haggadah, the text recited at the Seder, it states that, "In every generation, one is supposed to see themselves as if they themselves were taken out of Egypt.? This emphasis on storytelling and not only relaying the history of the Jewish people, but inserting yourself into the story, is a long-standing tradition passed down through the generations, and each retelling has special resonance of place and time.

When Passover Meets Hare Hunting:The Story Behind a Drawing

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The haggadah prompts numerous interactive activities to engage Seder participants and keep children interested and absorbed in the story of the Exodus. These traditions during the Seder including various objects, songs, written texts and foods, creating a tangible memory for participants, moving cultural memory forward. Each item at the Seder is designed to tell the story of the Exodus in a meaningful and impactful way. There is a lot to be learned about storytelling from the tradition of the haggadah? which literally means 'the telling'. Creating engaging and memorable ways to share stories is important to ensure those stories will be passed on. The National Library of Israel is looking forward to this year's European Day of Jewish Culture with its focus on storytelling. We will be bringing you stories on Jewish folklore, Jewish heritage and the human spirit to help you harness the power of storytelling at your EDJC events this year. There are many ways that can be used to tell a story, and by encouraging your communities to get involved, storytelling can help each city and town make this year's event their own.

The Book Behind a Red Revolution: The Story Behind a Book.

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We want to hear your stories. We want to learn more about the people and the history of your community. Consider asking a member of your community to share the history of an object that may have been passed down through generations. Ask the local drama troupe to create a performance on the history of your town or a vocalist to share a traditional song. Get the local schools and youth movements involved and have them share a story or build a dramatic skit. Let your participants discover their own story within the bigger story of your program and have them share their own authentic experiences. Storytelling cultivates a sense of community and stories can inspire stories. You may be surprised by the stories that surface during and after your events.

Teachers Tell Stories with a Primary Resource:The Story Behind a Map

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Many of you have already dived in and are in the planning stage for your events. The ideas you have shared have us already feeling inspired and filled with anticipation for what is yet to come.For those of you looking for additional inspiration, we have gathered a few resources to help spark some ideas in how to gather and share stories. In the coming months we will continue to build the storytelling tool kit, providing you with more stories and methods of storytelling for all ages. We are working on videos for you to share, podcasts to listen to and more information on how to build your own storytelling events.

The Personal Letters of Lucie Dreyfus:The Story Behind a Letter

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We would also like to hear from you- what did you have in mind for your events? Are there any specific resources you are looking for? We want to provide you with the best materials we can so please share with us! Additionally, as part of the celebration of the EDJC, we will be building a page on our website where we can share stories of your events. We want to reflect you and include the stories of your communities. Please be in touch and share your plans and the stories as they come up! We look forward to hearing from you and to watching the EDJC story

A New Year's Greeting with a Hanukkah Theme: The Story Behind an Image

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