VENICE – A yeshiva is born: rav Sermoneta inaugurates studies for Sofer and Mashgiach

“Over the centuries, the history of Jewish Venice has been enriched by the contribution of many successful yeshivot. So why not try to reopen one in the city, without any presumption but with the intent nonetheless of reviving nationally useful studies and services?” Rav Alberto Sermoneta, chief rabbi of Venice since September 2022 after 25 years of service in Bologna, recently asked himself this question. Having secured the support of the community leadership, he launched an initial course on Soferut, the set of laws and rules dedicated to the writing of the Torah scrolls, linking it to a project to restore some 70 specimens of great value, including historical ones in which personalities such as Shmuel Aboaf and Itzhak Luria are mentioned.
“A young Israeli Sofer, very good and helpful, was invited to Venice for a period of time,” Rabbi Sermoneta said. “Not only Venetians studied with us, but also a couple of young men who came from Rome in collaboration with the Italian Rabbinical College, and some even joined us from Merano, in the South Tyrol region. It was an important experience, which will soon start again with new stimuli.”
In the future, the rabbi announced, a course will be launched for Masghihim, those responsible for supervising the kashrut status of kosher establishments. Another educational project will focus on liturgical music and how to play the shofar, the ram’s horn used in some religious services.