NEWS Merano Celebrates the Second Bar Mitzvah in 70 Years

merano-thumbBy Adam Smulevich

The small Jewish Community of Merano in South Tyrol celebrated in the past few hours a unique, almost historical event: a new Bar Mitzvah, the second after Word War II.
Standing at the Tevah, the 13 years old Nathan Menachem Aron Armani (his brother Aaron Levi also celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in Merano two years ago).

“For the second time since 1943 Jews from Merano gathered together to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah in their synagogue. Today is a special day that none of us willever forget” president of the local Community Elisabetta Rossi Innerhofer said at the end of the ceremony, officiated by rav Isaac Havi and chazan Simeone Bordon and attended by several dozens of people (among them, the other two members of the Community board Mirko Wenter and Roberto Nahum).

Located in Northern Italy, few kilometres away from Austria and Switzerland, Merano isbest known for its spa resorts and amazing mountains. In the past, the town has been a popular place of residence for several scientists, artists and literary people including Franz Kafka and the local Jewish Community was highly influential (in its peak, the Community reached almost 2,000 members).

Nowadays the Community is composed by few families spread mainly between Merano and the city of Bolzano. Despite the small size, the Jewish life is still vibrant, celebrating Shabbat and the main Jewish festivals.