Brenda Lee Bohen is a dedicated collaborator with the Jewish Museum of Rome, is an individual whose passion for history, culture, and the rich tapestry of the Eternal City is truly inspiring.
She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in the History of Art and Architecture from DePaul University, and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her certification in Jewish Leadership at the Spertus Institute in partnership with Northwestern University and continues higher education at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. She is also a licensed and accredited tour guide in the Vatican Museums. As such, she passionately advocates for ongoing productive scholarship concerning the history of the Jews of Rome. In her volunteer efforts and contributions to articles and blogs, she strives to enlighten others about Roman Jewish history by interviewing prominent Jewish scholars from around the world, as well as her fellow tour guides from the community who are familiar with references to her areas of interest in the texts of the Torah, Talmud and Zohar. These texts, along with insights from other sources – including new discoveries gained from modern scholarship – contribute to an appreciation of the scope of Jewish contributions to the city of Rome, a treasured fact often ignored and omitted from history books, current museum and archaeological exhibitions and guided tours of the Eternal City. She is a Hispanic woman of converso heritage, holds dual American and Italian citizenship, and is a proud veteran of the United States Army Reserves.
As a tour guide in Rome, Brenda is also passionate about telling stories populated by the most prominent gods and goddesses in Roman culture: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. These gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Romans were anthropomorphic, exhibiting many human qualities such as love, hate and jealousy. On her walking tours through the ruins and museums of the Eternal city, Brenda’s training in the ancient Greek language and history allows her to narrate how the gods and goddesses of Greek culture have significantly influenced the development of Roman deities and mythology, as she colorfully demonstrates in situ.
Brenda's connection to her home in Cori, a place steeped in centuries-old history, is the icing on the cake. Her residence, located within walking distance of the Temple of Hercules, is a testament to her deep immersion in the cultural heritage of Italy. It serves as a constant reminder of her dedication to preserving and sharing the wealth of knowledge she has acquired over the years.
In essence, Brenda Lee Bohen is a scholar, a guide, and a passionate advocate for preserving and sharing the multifaceted history and culture of Rome. Her journey is a testament to the power of education, commitment, and the enduring love for heritage that can enrich not only her life but the lives of those fortunate enough to embark on a tour led by her.
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