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Progressive Judaism in Florence

 Shir Hadash Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Shir Hadash chose April 12, 2013 to celebrate this anniversary with a special evening of tefillah and fellowship which saw the inauguration of our new prayer book (siddur). This beautiful book, which presents our own traditional service in Hebrew, Hebrew transliteration, Italian and English,is written in a

gender-neutral language and contains many additional meditations and songs. It is the fruit of months of labor, the lion’s share done by Davide Scelsi, who used as sources Gates of Prayer, the Mishkan T’filah, Liberal and Reform siddurim from the UK, the Shabbat Vehagim (a Reconstructionist siddur), as well as prayers from the Benei Roma (an Italian siddur) and the service for reading the Torah from the Florentine sephardic siddur.


This very special erev shabbat was led by Rabbi Leigh Lerner, guest rabbi this year from Montreal, Canada, with help from Shir Hadash’s president Sandro Ventura. The evening also included a musical interlude, in which Jacob Ventura and Elisa Mori performed beautifully the “Étude-Caprice no. 1 in G minor for 2 Violins” by Henri Wieniawski. Many members participated in the service itself, and many of the rabbis who have made important contributions to the history of Shir Hadash sent greetings and well-wishes to the congregation.

Download and read for yourself
Rabbi Lerner's remarks on the anniversary:


Sandro Ventura's observations on Shir Hadash's history:

Greetings from Shir Hadash's past rabbis:

The year 5774/2013 marks the tenth year since the founding of Shir Hadash. Our progressive synagogue in Florence was begun by a group of ex-pat American Jews and Italian Jews, both looking for an alternative space to express their Judaism in Italy. Today Shir Hadash is an active and growing congregation which still reflects those origins. We are a mixed group of nationalities, ages, traditions and Jewish origins, using our diversity to study, celebrate and live a Jewish lifestyle which is a unique blend.

The evening was capped by a sumptuous buffet supper. In addition to the catered food, members contributed special dishes and desserts, and many eager hands helped with the set-up and clean-up. Shir Hadash gives its very special thanks to Susanna Myers and Sharon Strauss for all the planning that went into making this extraordinary evening a huge success.

All photos of the Anniversary celebration courtesy of  Salvatore Rizzo.

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