The Napoleone Jesurum Residency honors the memory of the co-founder and first president of Beit Venezia, Napoleone (Leo) Jesurum (1929-2017), who believed in the Ghetto of Venice as a place of memory and a source of inspiration for the future. In collaboration with his family, every year we invite a writer to live in Venice and write about the Ghetto, that “Leo”, who survived the Fascist persecution, envisioned as a place for the future as much as a site of memory.
Marjorie Agosín is the Pura Belpré Award-winning author of I Lived on Butterfly Hill. She was raised in Chile by Jewish parents. Her family moved to the United States to escape the horrors of the Pinochet takeover of their country. Coming from a South American country and being Jewish, Agosín’s writings demonstrate a unique blending of these cultures. She has received the Letras de Oro Prize for her poetry, and her writings about, and humanitarian work for, women in Chile have been the focus of feature articles in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Ms. Magazine. She has also won the Latino Literature Prize for her poetry. She is a Spanish professor at Wellesley College.
The first resident in 2018 was the distinguished Israeli playwright Motti Lerner, who shared some of his time and writing with Italian Jewish author Laura Forti.