What is Shemah?
Shemah – Scuola di Cultura e Studi Ebraici is the first institute in Italy dedicated to promoting Jewish culture through high-level academic studies, in an atmosphere of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. Our program grants the possibility of accumulating, over time, a consolidative knowledge of the history of Jewish culture in its various aspects: fundamental texts and documents and their historical contexts that enable to examine the development of Jewish culture throughout the centuries as well as the long established philosophical, theological and liturgical concepts of a millenarian culture. Our approach is systematic and interdisciplinary, as it highlights the dialogical nature of Jewish culture through direct readings of Jewish texts.
Shemah is inspired by the works of modern Jewish thinkers, who have contributed to the development of Jewish thought in modern Italy. Among those are the rabbis S.H. Margulies and Umberto Cassuto, as well as the French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas. Shemah carries on their thought by underlining the importance of the written text as a tool for an ethical renewal. In line with this, special value is given to the specificity of the human individual, in a Jewish and humanistic approach.
The School is based in Florence, an historical center of humanism and dialogue, but our courses can be attended from remote.
The School is directed by the Rabbi and scholar Joseph Levi and by an academic commission of international experts from Europe, the U.S.A, and Israel.