A large crowd of people packed the synagogue of Genoa last week to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of its construction.
Located in the residential area of Castelletto, near the nineteenth century Via Assarotti, the synagogue of Genoa is the only synagogue in Italy built under fascism, just a few years before the Racial Laws that excluded Jews from the society.
The celebration in the synagogue was deep and full of meaning.
“Among the non-Jewish Italian people, there were some who showed solidarity to our community, but it’s also true that many played an active part in the persecution. After the war we had to rebuild the trust between the Jewish community and the society at large,” current president of the Jewish Community, Ariel Dello Strologo, stressed in his opening remarks.
According to Chief Rabbi Giuseppe Momigliano, who delved into the detailed history of the Jews in Genoa, “the meaning of the event is to solicit a view that goes beyond this intense but still short space of time of eighty years. It should serve as well to project ourselves in even vaster temporal and geographical dimensions.”
Also present at the ceremony were Dario and Giulio Disegni, both nephews of the rabbi (Dario Disegni) who inaugurated the synagogue. Dario is the current President of the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara, Giulio is the vice-president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. Behind them was a large photograph of their grandfather.
Those who attended the event could also learn more about the history of Italian synagogues and the history of the emancipation of Jewish communities through the speeches by architect David Cassuto and historian Anna Foa.