ANNIVERSARIES Florence, Capital of Italy

florenceBy Adam Smulevich

The Jewish Community of Florence is celebrating 150 years since the time Florence was made capital of Italy. The community is hosting a variety of events, debates and meetings. Organized together with the local Jewish Museum and with the support of cultural and institutional partners the events are mainly dedicated to ‘exotism’ and to the contribution of Florentine Jews to progress and democracy. A special commemorative plaque was dedicated to the synagogue and to its secrets and traditions.

Among the contributors of the first two meetings hosted by the Community was the president of the Jewish Museum, Dora Liscia Bemporad, the president of the Opera del Tempio Ebraico di Firenze Renzo Funaro, the president of the Jewish Community, Sara Cividalli as well as the chief Rabbi Joseph Levi. “We are very proud to host this event which confirms that Jews have had a key role in the city of Florence and in its development,” Cividalli said.

The decision taken in 1865 to move the capital from Turin to Florence was mainly for political reasons. The main goal was to reach Rome in a progressive and unifying march along the peninsula. For historical and cultural reasons Florence seemed the ideal choice as the capital of the new state. With the Capture of Rome (20 September 1870) the capital was finally moved to the “Eternal City”.