In 2017, Beit Makhshava started a 3-year partnership with Beit Venezia, the home of Jewish culture in Venice. The 2017 retreat took place in Venice in October.
The purpose of the retreat was to produce original, contemporary Jewish thought in dialogue with the traditional sources. The source chosen for the retreat was Talmud Shabbat 33 and 34 explaining the story of Simon Bar Yochai and his son in the cave. The theme for the 2017 retreat was to discuss the very notion of public intellectual engagement or activism, at this time, with an eye and ear to European realities. What action can thinking take in an age of collapsing truths? What kind of public sphere can it hope to engage and shape? What is the place of critical thinking and texts in a world grappling with post-truth politics and the demise of master narratives? The discussions and presentations during the retreat were combined with visits to the local Jewish community and cultural activities (visit to the Biennale).
The 2017 retreat in Venice was generously sponsored by Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond.