The Jewish Italian community:
a women-woven history
By Daniel Reichel*
all started out with a question: did Italian Jewish women just take
care of their house and their children, however important it was, or
did their role entail something more? The answer is, yes, women’s role
in the Italian Judaism is as varied and complex as the weft of a piece
of fabric”. It was this question which inspired the exhibition Warp and
weft – women as custodians of Jewish heritage in Italy, inaugurated at
the U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art in Jerusalem and curated by
She explained to Pagine Ebraiche that her exhibition is intentionally
meant to “pay a tribute to the current exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery
in Florence, The colours of Judaism in Italy, and to its curator, Dora
Liscia Bemporad, who is also my mentor”. Precious fabrics from the
Nahon Museum collection, dating back to the 16th-20th century, tell us
the story of the complex role of women within the Italian Jewish
by Sara Facelli, with the help of Claudia Azzalini, both students at
the Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators of Trieste
University and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the
Italian Jewish Communities.
Biella, a special Bar Mitzvah
By Pagine Ebraiche staff
experienced a unique emotion in Biella Synagogue, where the local
Jewish Community celebrated a very special Bar Mitzvah. An American boy
had the chance to celebrate the Jewish coming of age ritual, that is
reached at the age of 13, reading Biella’s valuable Sefer Torah. This
sefer dates back to 1250 and it is the most ancient sefer composed in
Europe that belongs to a Jewish Community and is still consultable.
The Torah scroll was restored, on behalf of the Foundation for Jewish
Cultural Heritage in Italy, by sofer Amedeo Spagnoletto with the
support of the President of the Jewish Community of Vercelli and Biella
Rossella Bottini Treves.
by Claudia Azzalini and revised by Mattia Stefani, students at the
Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators of Trieste University
and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish
Leonardo da Vinci on display in Jerusalem
By Pagine Ebraiche staff*
An exhibition devoted to the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da
Vinci’s death was inaugurated at the Bloomfield Science Museum in
Jerusalem on July 4.
“The continuous and extensive research, the meticulous method, and the
craving for knowledge which has no taboo and defies every
preconception: these are just few of his teachings that today, after
500 years, we still treasure,” Italian ambassador to Israel Gianluigi
Benedetti said on the occasion.
“Although Leonardo’s heritage has universal value, we Italians
feel very proud of his roots. To be here today, praising his wit, is
important in two ways as this year diplomatic relationships between
Italy and Israel turn 70. Seventy years rich in cooperation, dialogue
and mutual enrichment is a strong bond confirmed by this momentous
event,” he added.
lashon - español
en el muelle
la expulsión definitiva de España de los judíos en 1492, las
embarcaciones llenas de refugiados se esparcieron a lo largo del
Mediterráneo. Muchas se hundieron. Algunas llegaron al puerto de
Génova. En aquella época, el gobierno de la ciudad no aprobaba la
presencia judía dentro de sus muros, a pesar de que se les concedieron
a los expatriados unos salvoconductos. Esperando ser recibidos, o
expulsados, muchos judíos se vieron obligados a quedarse en el muelle
en condiciones muy desfavorables. Fue a principios de 1493 y hacía
mucho frío. Muchos se convirtieron, otros murieron y otros fueron
vendidos como esclavos. Otros fueron recibidos por la ciudad de
Ferrara. El canciller genovés Bartolomeo Senarega en su Crónaca
histórica nos ha dejado un testimonio de este acontecimiento, con
palabras cargadas de compasión.
*Anna Foa, historiadora.
Traducido por Mattia Stefani, estudiante de la Escuela Superior para
Intérpretes y Traductores de la Universidad de Trieste, de prácticas en
la oficina del periódicos de la Unión de las Comunidades Judías
Hiding and Revealing
By Yaakov Mascetti*
take the traditional negative approach to the figure of Bil’am, the
non-Jewish prophet whose story we find in the weekly portion of
“Balak,” personally. On this point I have had more than one occasion to
express my thoughts in the past. What I had never noticed until now is
the complex combination of motifs of revelation /uncovering and of
hiding / covering.
Num. 22:2ff “Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the
Amorites. Moab was alarmed because that people was so numerous. Moab
dreaded the Israelites, and Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now
this horde will lick clean all that is about us as an ox licks up the
grass of the field.”
*Yaakov Mascetti holds a
Ph.D. and teaches at the Department of Comparative Literature, Bar Ilan
Celebrating Sabbath with Iran's
By Jan Schneider*
is Friday evening and a Jewish family's preparations for the Sabbath,
the holiest day of the week, are in full swing. In the living room,
everyone has gathered around the big table for the traditional
celebration as tantalizing aromas of hot food drift through from the
The youngest son breaks the unsalted bread, then reads from the Tanakh
as his father pours the obligatory glass of red wine to be passed
around the table. Although it may look very like the kind of typical
scene to be found in thousands of households across Israel every
weekend, there is one important difference here. This one is happening
The last rays of winter sunshine are just dipping out of sight behind
the Alborz mountains on this cold January day in Tehran. It is the last
day of the week, which in Iran begins on Saturday. There are no major
buildings — and certainly none of a religious nature — to punctuate the
skyline in this part of town, with its plethora of small kiosks and
*The article was published in DW on July 13, 2019.
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Realizzato con il contributo di: Francesco Moises Bassano, Susanna
Barki, Amanda Benjamin, Monica Bizzio, Angelica Edna Calò Livne,
Eliezer Di Martino, Alain Elkann, Dori Fleekop, Daniela Fubini,
Benedetta Guetta, Sarah Kaminski, Daniel Leisawitz, Annette Leckart,
Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, Yaakov Mascetti, Francesca Matalon, Jonathan
Misrachi, Anna Momigliano, Giovanni Montenero, Elèna Mortara, Sabina
Muccigrosso, Lisa Palmieri Billig, Jazmine Pignatello, Shirley Piperno,
Giandomenico Pozzi, Daniel Reichel, Colby Robbins, Danielle
Rockman, Lindsay Shedlin, Michael Sierra, Rachel Silvera, Adam
Smulevich, Simone Somekh, Rossella Tercatin, Ada Treves, Lauren
Waldman, Sahar Zivan.