Program at a glance
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Israel-Albania Culture Festival 

Bringing Culture and Heritage Together

Tirana, 12–21 September 2021 



“Israel – Albania Culture Festival” is a festival of arts and culture presenting and promoting contemporary art and cultural heritage from Israel and Albania, and from the broader Albanian and Jewish diasporas. The forthcoming edition of the festival in September 2021 shall bring together in Tirana artists, authors, and cultural influencers from Israel, Albania and the international scene – in program of events and performances spanning instrumental classical music, traditional folk music, contemporary dance, visual arts , literature and cinematography.


“Israel – Albania Culture Festival” is dedicated to facilitating mobility of artists and access to artistic productions and cultural resources between Albania and Kosovo, and Israel, as well as to contributing towards mutual learning and exchanges between the two peoples. By supporting international collaborative projects in the field of arts and culture, the Festival also aims at promoting Albanian and Jewish cultural heritage and contemporary creativity in the larger European and international contexts. In particular, the rescue of Jewish people in Albania during the Holocaust is highlighted for nurturing inter-generational and inter-cultural dialogue, especially in response to pressing challenges of racism, xenophobia, rising anti-Semitism, and other forms of intolerance.


Day 1 Sept 12 / Folk Music & Experimental Performance (Mother Teresa Square)


Opening video-message from Ms. Avital Leibovich, Honorary Board Member of the Festival and Director of American Jewish Committee’s Jerusalem Office and from Mr. Joel Rubin, Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress ◊ Welcoming speech by Rabbi Yisroel Finman, Director of the Albanian Rabbinate ◊ Musical concert by the “ Israel Klezmer Orchestra ,” performing a varied and rich repertoire in Hebrew and Yiddish music ◊ Opening of the exhibit “Shelter” with paintings by Albanian artist Arben Golemi


Day 2 Sept 13 / Documentary Screening & Costumography Exhibit (“Reja” / “The Cloud”)


Screening of “ The Albanian Code ,” a documentary highlighting the sheltering of Jewish refugees in Albania during the Holocaust and the “Best Documentary” winner at the 2019 Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival ◊ Exhibition with Albanian traditional costumes “ Tradita Edlira ”, curated around the concept of “camouflage” & rescue of Jewish people in Albania during the Holocaust ◊ Musical concert by Agron Peni Duo Guitar from Kosova


Day 3 Sept 14 / Movie Screening & Choir Performance (Academy of Arts Amphitheater)


Screening of the “Holocaust Requiem” documentary and video-message by Mr. Donald Maurice, the movie’s creator, and Mr. Boris Pigovat, its composer, Boris ◊ Performance of a mixed repertoire of folk and classical Jewish and Albanian masterpieces by the renown choir conducted by “Grand Master” Suzana Turku ◊ String quartet from Academy of Arts ◊


Day 4 Sept 17 / Candle-Light Concert (Jordan Misja Artistic Lyceum)


Kabbalat Shabat ” candle-lighting ceremony with Rabbi Yoel Kaplan, Chief Rabbi of the Balkan countries ◊ Musical performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Quartet and piano performance by Almira Emiri of select pieces by Pigovat & Dvořák ◊ World premiere of “ String Quartet No. 2 ”By the world renown Israeli composer Boris Pigovat ◊


Day 5 Sept 20 / Academic Conference & Literary Discussion (National Historical Museum)


Forum of historians, researchers, and academics on inter-cultural and inter-generational dialogue ◊ Literary discussion and performance of select writings by the Israeli writer Amos Oz, and the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, winner of the 2015 Jerusalem Prize ◊ Video-message from Nadav Salzberger Oz, the grandson of Amos Oz ◊ Vernissage of photography exhibit “The Living Jerusalem” by the famous Hungarian photographer Ivàn Benda ◊


Day 6 Sept 21 / Instrumental Music Performance (Jordan Misja Artistic Lyceum)


Video-projection of testimonials on the rescue of Jewish people in Albania during the Holocaust & video-greetings from the Albanian Jewish diaspora in Israel ◊ Closing instrumental music performance by the Israeli violinist Nitzan Bartana and soprano Sivan Rotem with Albanian pianist Almira Emiri ◊