February 4, 2013

2012: A Look Back At Jewish Italy

Posted in Italy, Judaism at 5:53 am by chavalah

Depiction of Jewish communities in Italy

Depiction of Jewish communities in Italy

I’ve had this idea in my head for a few months that I should return to my roots, pun intended. I started this blog primarily to chronicle interfaith issues from an Ashkenazi Jewish/Italian-American perspective. It’s since morphed into more than that, but I miss talking about my “step-family,” the Italian Jews! I thought, what better way to get back in the spirit than to chronicle recent events about them? Thanks to my JTA subscription, I have access to an archive of knowledge. A year is a nice, accessible number on which to reflect.

In retrospect, Jewish life in Italy progressed more positively in 2012 than I’d thought. I suppose I was primarily remembering the antisemitic backlash in the wake of Israel’s latest operation in Gaza last autumn, and sure, there were a fair amount of antisemitic events throughout the year. But there was also Jews reaching out to a country during various times of need, and a country in return reaching out to them.

I’ve included links to the stories and dates below; please feel free to add anything I may have missed. I think it’s important, on a macro level, to gain insight into Jewish communities that exist outside of Israel and the United States. Our Tribe has made a long, distinguished mark on the world! I am glad, in however crooked a way, to be connected to the Italian Jewish community.

#= brief; *=article

Jan. 26: #The Italian community gathers to commemorate Italian Jewish victims of the Holocaust

Jan 31: *Southern Italian school kids meet their first Jew on Holocaust Day

Feb. 7: #International court: Germany need not grant pension to Italian slave laborer for Nazis

March 15: #Suspected plotter of attack on Milan synagogue is arrested

Apr. 22: #Italian Nobel laureate Rita Levi Montalcini turns 103

Apr. 24: #Italian convert to Islam arrested on terror charges

May 15: #Rome judge slammed for fining journalist who satirized anti-Semitic cartoon

May 20: #Italy’s Torah Day limited to men

May 29: #Italian town’s official resigns over Holocaust joke

June 4: #Jewish celebration in Rome canceled to honor earthquake victims

June 5: #Nazi-looted from Italian-Jewish owner, then returned, painting selling at auction

June 18: #Italian Jewish community to raise money to cover earthquake damage

June 20: #Italian WWII transit camp museum closed due to earthquake damage

June 26: #Roman Jewry mourns Italian Muslim leader

July 1: #Foster son of Jewish mom leads Italians into European soccer title match

July 2: #Italy’s Camila Giorgi falls in Wimbledon’s round of 16

July 15: #Help return abducted children to their Italian father, petition to Clinton asks

July 17: #Italy to fight anti-Semitism in cyberspace

Aug. 9: #Italian prosecutor probing Adolf Hitler-labeled wine

Aug. 13: #Italian man, 66, released after stealing Auschwitz barbed wire

Sept. 23: #Cesare Colafemmina, expert on Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, dies

Sept. 27: *Man with a mission: Italian pianist revives music created in concentration camps

Oct. 3: *In southern Italy, long-lost Jews returning to the fold

Oct 10: #Honoring of Italian fascist angers local Jewish group

Oct. 11: #Krakow congregation gets first Torah scroll—a gift from Italian Reform community

Oct. 17: #Italy’s prime minister vows to fight anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial

Oct. 17: *Medieval Jewish banquet in small Italian town resurrects forgotten menus

Oct. 25: #Italian PM leads delegation for summit in Israel

Oct. 29: #Crowds mark anniversary of Mussolini’s rise to power

Nov. 18: #Italian white supremacists arrested for inciting anti-Semitism

Nov. 19: #Vandalism at Italian synagogue apparently protesting Israeli operation

Nov. 25: #Italy’s Jewish leaders denounce mounting anti-Semitism

Dec. 24: #Jewish Italian lawmaker Emanuele Fiano launches petition against neo-Nazi parties

Dec. 27: #Hitler statue by Italian artist unveiled outside former Warsaw Ghetto

Dec. 30: #Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, dies at 103

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1 Comment »

  1. […] the trend from last year, I’m chronicling the Jewish news from a country where such news is often overlooked—the home of […]


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