On 28-29 March, Georgia will for the first time host the General Assembly Session of the European Association for the Protection and Promotion of Jewish Cultural Heritage (AEPJ) with the Council of Europe. Up to 30 representatives of the AEPJ and European Institute of Cultural Routes and Israeli Parliament (Knesset) Vice-Speaker Hilik Bar will visit Tbilisi. First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Tamar Chugoshvili and Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Levan Kharatishvili will attend the opening session.
The Jewish route in Georgia is coordinated by the organization Israeli House which, with the support of the ministry and Israeli Knesset, is actively involved in the activities of the AEPJ that are held in Luxembourg, Madrid and other European cities.
Israeli House works with the support of the Knesset to strengthen Hasbara (public diplomacy in Israel), Georgia-Israel and Georgia-world Jewish relations. The Jewish cultural heritage route is considered by the organization to be of high value to Georgia and an effective tool in relations with the Jewish world.
According to Itsik Moshe, the Head of Israeli House, the organization actively cooperates with the friendship groups of the Israeli and Georgian parliaments, led by Vice-Speakers Hilik Bar and Tamar Chugoshvili.
“These Friendship groups agreed on an annual action plan at a meeting in Israel. The Jewish cultural heritage route promotes the popularization of Georgia in Europe and gives Georgia the chance to attract as many Israeli tourists and representatives of the global Jewish community as possible,” Moshe said, going on to state his belief that “200,000 tourists will visit Georgia from Israel in 2020, which is $200 million for the Georgian economy.”
According to the Head of Israeli House, the Jewish cultural heritage route can be expanded to cover the Caucasus region. “Israeli House is going to introduce this idea to the AEPJ,” he noted.
On March 29, a reception will be held for the representatives of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, AEPJ and Israeli Delegation members at the Georgian Parliament.
The guests will also visit Mtskheta, the National Museum, the Jewish library created by Israeli House at the National Library and will attend a performance based on Jewish themes at Marjanishvili Theater.
By Mariam Merabishivili