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Spain Sets Maimonides Commemoration

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Formal commemoration by the Spanish government of the 850th anniversary of the birth of Maimonides will be marked by a series of events which will include conferences by academic specialists, concerts of Sephardic music, performances by an Israeli dance group, and Jewish/Moslem philosophical encounters, the World Jewish Congress reported today.

According to Samuel Toledano, Secretary-General of the Federation of Jewish Communities, the central repre-sentative body of Spanish Jewry and the WJC affiliate here, the focus of activities related to the Maimonides commemoration will be centered in Cordoba — the birthplace of the medieval Jewish philosopher and physician.

The year-long commemorative program is being held under the patronage of the Spanish-Ministry of Culture and of the regional government of the province of Andalusia. Toledano announced that highlights of the program scheduled by Spanish authorities in Cordoba, included:

* March 26: “Israel Day,” featuring lectures by Israeli scholars and performances by the Inbal Dance Group.

*March 28: “Morocco Day,” with lectures by Moroccan Jews and Moslems and a recital of Andalusian music and Jewish ritual songs.

*June 1-15: A fortnight of Sephardic music, performed by various Spanish and foreign groups.

*September 8-11: An international congress on Maimonides, bringing together specialists on the life and work of Maimonides from around the world.

*October: A documentary and audio-visual exhibition on Maimonides in the Cordoba synagogues.

TRAVELING EXHIBITION ON SPANISH JEWRY

In addition to these events, the Jewish Federation is preparing a traveling exhibition on Spanish Jewry which will be visiting cities in Europe throughout the year.

Meanwhile, in Paris, WJC officials report that following their discussions with UNESCO authorities, a UNESCO symposium on Maimonides is to take place at the organization’s headquarters on December 11-12. At its last session, UNESCO had adopted a resolution proposed by the WJC calling for commemoration of the Maimonides year.

For the symposium, UNESCO will be inviting scholars from around the world, including experts from Israel and various Arab countries. UNESCO is also preparing a poster to publicize the event.

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