The Jewish community in Livorno, on Italy’s Tuscan coast, postponed its European Day of Jewish Culture events as “a sign of mourning,” after flash floods due to torrential rain left at least five people dead in the city.
Four of the victims were members of one family, media reports said.
“The Livorno Jewish community expresses its condolences regarding the victims caused in recent hours by the storm and is close to those who have suffered damage and the institutions called upon to face this difficult test,” the community said in a statement announcing the postponement of Sunday’s scheduled events.
The cancelled events included a presentation and round-table discussion about the Jewish Diaspora in Europe and North Africa, as well as a food tasting of Sephardic sweets.
Storms battered much of Italy Sunday, toppling trees, triggering landslides, and causing flooding, also in parts of Rome, where several subway stations had to be closed.
Jewish Culture Day events ranging from concerts to performances to guided tours went on as scheduled, however, in about 80 towns and cities all over the country. Central Culture Day events took place in Sicily, where signs of Jewish revival are now taking place centuries after Jews were expelled from the island.
*This article was published in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on September 10, 2017.