Rabbi Ovadiah ben Abraham of Bartenura (1445-1515) was a fifteenth century Italian rabbi known worldwide for his commentary on the Mishnah. Five centuries after his death rav Luciano Meir Caro, chief rabbi of Ferrara, received honorary citizenship of Bertinoro, Ovadiah’s birthplace. This was to honor his contribution to interreligious dialogue and to his keeping alive the memory of the great commentator.
Born in Turin, where he completed his rabbinical studies under the direction of rav Dario Designi, rav Caro received the title of “maskil” in 1956 and obtained his semikhà (rabbinical degree) in 1959. From 1959 to 1976 he was vice-rabbi of Turin, from 1976 to 1979 chief rabbi of Trieste and from 1979 to 1989 chief rabbi of Florence. Since 1989 he has been the chief rabbi of Ferrara and also a point of reference for the Jewish Community of Pisa.
“Bertinoro is an extremely welcoming place rich of Jewish traditions and meanings. This recognition makes me feel proud as well as for the Jewish Community of Ferrara,” said rav Caro.
The ceremony took place last Friday. Among the guests was the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Gattegna.