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Articles by: Joseph Sciame

  • Art & Culture

    Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee: A Message from President/Chairperson

    The IHCC-NY, Inc.recognizes, EXPO Milano 2015, the worldwide celebration in Italy by saluting the various programs that will be sponsored, especially in the month of October 2015, a positiverepresentation of all that occured and is occurring in Italy and presented to the world.
     

    That gift has been hundreds of years of inventions and research that have brought about some of the most creative outcomes in the fields of science and technology. We enjoy those benefits today!
     

    We join with all Italian Americans in celebrating this special year. We are confident that the various organizations that historically recognize Italian Americans during the month of October will especially think about the important contributions to our heritage and culture that have been made by Italian Americans and women in science and technology professions over the last 50 years.
     

    At this time, I thank all who have suggested and prepared the final work towards the various posters, bookmarks, pamphlets, and solicitation of programs for the booklet/insert of activities for the year 2015, all of which can be found as well on our web site.

    Our publications are provided through the generosity of benefactors, among which are the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the Office of the Consulate General of Italy in New York and many other individuals and contributors.
     

    During these challenging economic times, we are most appreciative of the response by those individuals who generously have contributed to the development of our materials, and as well, to the overwhelming largesse by our sponsors whose ads are included within.

    For without their financial support, we might not have been able to produce such a comprehensive view of all the many activities for Italian Heritage and Culture Month, 2015.
     

    You are enthusiastically and wholeheartedly invited to join us in this celebration to partake of, and participate in, as many activities listed in the calendar of events as you are able. With all of us, the members of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, NY, Inc., a Board second to none in its enthusiasm and grace of life as “Italophiles,” I encourage you to celebrate our rich heritage!

    Grazie a tutti e buon proseguimento!

    Joseph Sciorra,

    Cav. Uff. Joseph Sciame President/Chairperson Mese della Cultura Italiana Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, Inc.

  • Events: Reports

    Welcome to the 38th Annual Celebration of Italian Heritage and Culture Month


    Dear Friends:

    Welcome to the 38th annual celebration of Italian Heritage and Culture Month. This year the Board of Directors of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, New York, Inc. has selected as its theme: “Celebrating the Italian American Experience, Legends and Icons, Italian Americans in Sports.”
     
    We join with all Italian Americans in celebrating this special year. We are confident that the various organizations which historically recognize Italian Americans during the month of October will especially think about the important contributions to our heritage and culture that have been made by I-A men and women in the field of sports.
     
    At this time, I thank all who have suggested and prepared the final work towards the various posters, bookmarks, pamphlets, and solicitation of programs for the booklet/insert of activities for the year 2014, all of which can be found as well on our web site. Our publications are provided through the generosity of benefactors, among which are the Columbus Citizens Foundation, the Office of the Consulate General of Italy in New York and many other individuals and contributors.  
     
    During these challenging economic times, we are most appreciative of the response by those individuals who generously have contributed to the development of our materials, and as well, to the overwhelming largesse by our sponsors whose ads are included within. For without their financial support, we might not have been able to produce such a comprehensive view of all the many activities for Italian Heritage and Culture Month, 2014.
     
    For this 2014 issue of our annual information, we have partnered with i–Italy Magazine in what one might consider a new venture, by inserting our former “booklet” into an insert in the September-October issue, that can now be seen in some 50,000 copies and multiple other readers.  We await the comments of our esteemed readers and supporters all.
     
    You are enthusiastically and wholeheartedly invited to join us in this celebration to partake of, and participate in, as many activities listed in the calendar of events as you are able.  With all of us, the members of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, NY, Inc., a Board with a grace of life as “Italophiles,” I encourage you to celebrate our rich heritage!

    Grazie a tutti e buon proseguimento!
     
    Cav. Uff. Joseph Sciame
    President/Chairperson
    Mese della Cultura Italiana
    Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, Inc.
     
     


  • Op-Eds

    Characters Such as Corleone by Puzo have not Helped the Image

    Thank you for the invitation to participate in the response discussion re the comments made by Roberto Saviano during the course of his visit most recently at the Casa Italiana, NYU.

    I have copied the following from the article on i-Italy and wish to keep my comments to his commentary at that point during his discourse. Gomorrah's writer didn't avoid talking about organized crime and about the perception of Italians abroad.

    “Italians have the best anti-mafia law in the world but I know that we cannot take it anymore to be associated with the mafia world,” and he talked about characters such as Michael Corleone by Mario Puzo or Al Capone played by De Niro, just as examples. ”We can't put the blame on Scorsese or on the Sopranos for the mafia and this perception.” It is important to know what happens, he claimed, “The indifference is the worst form of omerta' (a conspiracy of silence).”

    It seems to me that unless I missed something from the discourse, there was an absence of commentary made by some experienced community-minded Italian Americans relative to Mr. Saviano's statement re the anti-mafia laws that exist in Italy, almost implying that there is little being done elsewhere.

    I only wish I had been there as a former Chairman of the Commission for Social Justice of the Order Sons of Italy in American (OSIA) from 2003-05 and now a national past president, during which time we fought vigorously as we do each day in combating and joining forces with those who fight the mafia syndrome, or better known as organized crime.

    I would disagree with his comment in that characters such as Corleone by Puzo; they have not helped the image that was initially created by the early immigrants of the 1880s-1920s. Their hard work and dedication to the fabric of our American society is oftentimes wiped out by such characters and images, whether on TV, news media or film.  No, we do not blame the Scoreses of the world for the mafia, of course not.  But we do blame such actors for continuing to instill in such characterizations that Italian-Americans are in such portrayals.  

    People begin to believe it, and we know in our American society that there is a systemic belief that Italian Americans are involved in forms of criminality.  The famed Lichter study of thirty years ago attested to the statistics of what people believe, regardless of the ongoing contributions to the world by Italians and Italian Americans. This has been further substantiated by a more recent Zogby Poll sponsored by the National Italian American Foundation.

    Finally, if I had been at the meeting I would have stated clearly that there is no indifference in those leaders of the Italian American community in conveying their distaste for matters related to the mafia syndrome and/or organized crime.  There is no conspiracy of silence, for we have fought for many a year against bias, bigotry and defamation when needed and where needed. Throughout this great land called America, we have defined our Italian and Italian American role as an ethnic community, one filled with respect for values, and values such as: family, faith, government, education and more.  

    Most of all, we have contributed in a most positive way to our society by hard work, diligence to the various tasks at hand, involved in every level of government, and better educated owing to the opportunities of education at all levels, especially at the collegiate and university levels.

    I share these comments as someone involved in the Italian American community and its social movement for some forty-three years from when I initially joined the OSIA, and have gone from a local to state to national level.  It is with that pride that I respond to Mr. Saviano's comments.

    Joseph Sciame is Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John’s University and also President of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee