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Italian Jewish Communities Portal

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Profiles

  • Madama Europa (c.1570 - d.)
    Madama Europa was Salomone Rossi's sister and an opera singer, possibly the first Jewish woman to be professionally engaged in that area. Like her brother, she was employed at the court in Mantua; she ...
  • Salamone Rossi (1570 - 1630)
    Italy: Salome Rossi Between Worlds The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive In the late Renaissance, at the height of Mantua’s artistic splendor, a young Jewish violinist burst through the barriers...
  • Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707 - 1747)
    Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ( משה חיים לוצאטו, also Moses Chaim, Moses Hayyim, also Luzzato) (1707, Padua – 16...
  • R' Samuel Aboab, A.B.D. Venice (1610 - 1694)
    Samuel Aboab (1610 – August 22, 1694), son of Abraham Aboab, was a very prominent rabbi of the seventeenth century. He was born at the Republic of Venice, and began the study of rabbinical lit...
  • Moses Haim Montefiore (1784 - 1885)
    Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, 1st Baronet, Kt (24 October 1784 - 28 July 1885) was one of the most famous British Jews of the 19th century. Montefiore's 100th birthday was celebrated as a national event i...

In recent years, a growing number of Italian Marranos as well as others of Jewish descent throughout southern Italy and Sicily have begun to return to their roots. Source

Jewish Italy

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Italian Jewish Communities Links: Click Topic Header button for each Region, and a drop-down action menu with links to find the individual communities.

Apulia - Bologna - Calabria - Ferrara - Firenze - Genoa - Livorno (Leghorn) - Lombardi - Lucca - Merano - Messina - Milano -Modena - Napoli - Padua - Pessaro - Pompei - Ravenna - Rome - San Marino - Sardinia - Senigallia - Sicily - Siena - Siracusa - Urbino - Venice (Venezia) - Verona - Trieste - Turin(Torino) - . . .

PIEDMONT, TUSCANY, LOMBARDIA, LAZIO, VENETO, CAMPANIA-APULIA-SICILY,
LIGURIA, FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA, EMILIA ROMAGNA, MARCHE

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Notable Italian Jewish Families

Benvenida Abravanel

Benvenida Abravanel was one of the most influential and wealthiest Jewish women of early modern Italy. She was the daughter of Jacob Abravanel (d. 1528), who was one of the two brothers of Isaac Abravanel (1437–1508), the Spanish Jewish exegete, philosopher and statesman. Isaac had three sons, the youngest of whom, Samuel (1473–1547), married Benvenida. Thus, she married her first cousin and was both the niece and the daughter-in-law of Isaac Abravanel. She brought into her marriage a very large dowry.

By 1492, Benvenida and much of the family, perhaps after a stop in Portugal, had settled in Naples, where first her father and then her husband, referred to as the king of the Jews, became the leaders of the Jewish community. . . . Continued. - Geni Profilei

The Katzenellenbogen Family

The Katzenellenbogen Family: Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen (c. 1482 – 12 January 1565) Meir of Padua, or Maharam Padua, מאיר בן יצחק קצנלנבויגן was an Italian rabbi born in Katzenelnbogen.

Meïr ben Isaac, who was generally called after his native town, was the founder of the Katzenellenbogen family. Some notable descendants include, Martin Buber, Karl Marx, Mosen Mendelssohn, Baron Guy de Rothschild, Helena Rubinstein, Otto Warburg and more. . . . Continued. - Geni Profile

The Modena Family

Leon Modena or Yehudah Aryeh Mi-modena (1571–1648) was a Jewish scholar born in Venice of a notable French family that had migrated to Italy after an expulsion of Jews from France.

Family Tree and Autobiography of a Seventeenth-century Venetian Rabbi, Leon Modena, by Leone Modena. (Family Tree Chart, see preface Xl )

Warburg Family

Warburg Family. They originated as the Venetian Jewish del Banco family, one of the wealthiest Venetian families in the early 1500s. Following restrictions imposed on banking and the Jewish community, they fled to Bologna, and thence to Warburg, in Germany, in the 16th century, after which they took their name.

Ghiron Family

  • Rabbi Johanan Ghiron "Alluf Torah"(1646 - 1716), born in Casale Monferrato, Italy was rabbi of Florence for 34 years. The Ghiron family stemmed from Gerona, Spain.
  • Judah Hayym Ghiron, son of Johanan was born in Casale Monferrato and was rabbi of Florence from (1719 to 1738)
  • Judah Hayyim Leonti Ghiron (1739 -1761) was rabbi in Casale. Halachic correspondence archived at the Asiatic Museum in Leningrad.
  • Samuel Hayyim Ghiron (1829 - 1895), born Ivrea appointed rabbi of Turin in 1854. Published prayer book (Leghorn, 1879)
  • Ghirondi, Mordecahi Samuel ben Benzion Aryeh (1799 - 1852), born in Padua, an Italian scholar and biographer. Descendant of a rabbinical family. Chief rabbi of Padua 1829 - 31, and again from 1831 to 1852. His grandmother was Benevenida.
  • Mazal-Tov Benevenida Ghirondi (c1760), wife of Mordecai rabbi of Cittadella, was famous in her Jewish learning and educated many disciples. Continued

The Senigaglia family

Senigaglia Family Tree Chart

The Senigaglia family (sometimes spelt Sinigaglia) is an Italian Jewish family, whose origins can be traced back nearly 800 years, the period between the High Middle Age and the Renaissance. . . . Continued

  • Izchak ben Avigdor da Senigallia (1491), banker at La Volta Mantovana
  • Abraham Senigallia (1632), banker at La Volta Mantovana
  • Israel Jacob Senigallia, professor of surgery at the Mantova medical school (1751-1752)
  • Abraham Salomon Senigallia (1715) is one of the three leaders of Hadashim labakarim (for sacred studies)
  • Solomon Jedidiah Sinigaglia was rabbi and mohel in Scandiano in 1639. Later he went to Modena.
  • Abraham Vita Sinigaglia: rabbi of Modena during the first half of 18th century
  • Solomon Jedidiah Sinigaglia: rabbi in Modena during the 18th century
  • Moises Elijah Sinigaglia (1763-1849) rabbi in Modena
  • Graziadio Ghedalia Sinigaglia from Lugo. Famous goldsmith
  • Isaac Sinigaglia, last rabbi in Lugo
  • Isaac Senigaglia in Gorizia: banker and silk trader
  • Gilberto Senigaglia in Trieste, physician
  • Oscar Sinigaglia. Founder of the Italian steel industry
  • Jacob Senigaglia in Gorizia won a tribunal case against the Austrian Empire to obtain the right of ownership of houses and lands outside the Ghetto

The Kalonymus / Kalonymos Family

Kalonymos or Kalonymus קלונימוס‎ is a prominent Jewish family originally from Lucca, Italy, which, after the settlement at Mainz and Speyer of several of its members, took during many generations a leading part in the development of Jewish learning in Germany. The family is according to many considered the foundation of Hachmei and Hasidei Ashkenaz.

  • David Kalonymus ben Jacob (David ben Jacob Meïr) was an Italian Jewish astrologer of the fifteenth century, and a member of the Kalonymus family.
  • Moses I. (ben Meshullam), Liturgical poet; lived at Rome or at Lucca about 850.
  • Kalonymus II. (ben Moses), Halakist and liturgical poet; flourished at Lucca or at Rome about 950. There exists in rabbinical literature a confusion concerning the identity of Kalonymus and his son Meshullam the Great, and the saying of one is sometimes attributed to the other.
  • Meshullam the Great, called also the Roman, was a Halakhist and liturgical poet; flourished at Rome or at Lucca about 976. He carried on with Gershom Me'or ha-Golah and Simon the Great a scientific correspondence, which is included in the "Teshuvot Geonim Kadmonim" (13a).
  • Eleazar of Worms (אלעזר מוורמייזא) (c. 1176 – 1238), or Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymus, also sometimes known today as Eleazar Rokeach ("Eleazar the Perfumer" אלעזר רקח) from the title of his Book of the Perfumer (Sefer ha rokeah ספר הרקח) - where the numerical value of "Perfumer" (in Hebrew) is equal to Eleazar, was a leading Talmudist and mystic, and the last major member of the Hasidei Ashkenaz, a group of German Jewish pietists.

Anacletus II (born Pietro Pierleoni), was born to the powerful Roman family of the Pierleoni, the son of the Consul Pier Leoni. One of his great-great grandparents, Benedictus, maybe Baruch in Hebrew, was a Jew who converted into Christianity.

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Jewish Communities of Italy J-Italy Website contains innumerable menus with links all Jewish Italian communities and their cultural and historical resources.

History of the Jews in Italy Click for active Wikipedia Links for list below.

Notable Italian Jews

Rabbis and Philisophers

  • Samuel Aboab, prominent rabbi
  • Aaron ben Gershon Abu Al-Rabi or Aronne Abulrabi of Catania (1400–1450), rabbinic scholar, cabalist and astrologer.Called also Aldabi or Alrabi, Aaron was the First Jew in the history to be invited during a Pontificate to discuss freely and without censorship about religious subjects and papal perplexities.The Pope Martin V with his swarm of Cardinals welcomed him in Rome.
  • Barbara Aiello, American rabbi with an interest in Italy
  • Benjamin Artom, Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Great Britain
  • Umberto Cassuto, rabbi
  • Abraham Isaac Castello, Rabbi
  • Leone Ebreo, Neoplatonic philosopher
  • Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, Rabbi, scholar, mystic, also known as RAMCHAL
  • Amos Luzzatto, writer and former president of the Italian Jewish Communities Union
  • Raphael Meldola, Rabbi
  • David Nieto, rabbi
  • Riccardo Pacifici, Rabbi
  • Obadiah ben Jacob Sforno, Rabbi, philosopher
  • Elio Toaff, Rabbi and former Chief of Italian Jews Community
  • Samuel David Luzzatto important Rabbi and scholar, also known as SHADAL
  • Sidney Sonnino, Italian politician of Jewish origin
  • Isaiah di Trani, talmudist, Rabbi, also known as RID

Academics

  • Emilio Artom, mathematician
  • pedigree of Azzopardi
  • Faraj ben Salim, Sicilian physician and translator from Agrigento
  • Mosé Bonavoglia de' Medici, or Bonavoglio de' Medici, (d. 1447). Sicilian physician from Messina and Dienchelele (Naggid or Dayan kelali = Universal Judge of Sicilian Jews).His Hebrew name was Moses Hefez.[4]
  • Michele Besso, engineer
  • Caecilius of Calacte, Sicilian rhetorician from modern Caronìa
  • Eugenio Calabi, mathematician
  • Laura Capón, physicist; married to non-Jew Enrico Fermi
  • Guido Castelnuovo, mathematician
  • Enrico Castelnuovo, art historian and medievalist
  • Federigo Enriques, mathematician
  • Gino Fano, mathematician
  • Robert Fano, physicist
  • Ugo Fano, physicist
  • Guido Fubini, mathematician
  • Carlo Ginzburg, historian
  • Giovanni Jona-Lasinio, physicist (Jewish father)
  • Alberto Jori, philosopher (Jewish mother)
  • Beppo Levi, mathematician
  • Tullio Levi-Civita, mathematician
  • Giorgio Levi della Vida
  • Rita Levi-Montalcini, neurologist, Nobel Prize (1986)
  • Cesare Lombroso, criminologist
  • Salvador Luria, microbiologist, Nobel Prize (1969)
  • Samuel David Luzzatto
  • Franco Modigliani, economist, Nobel Prize (1985)
  • Arnaldo Momigliano, Italian-born historian (Jewish Year Book 1985 p188)
  • Attilio Momigliano, literary critic, Dante scholar
  • Bruno Pontecorvo, physicist
  • Guido Pontecorvo, geneticist
  • Giulio Racah, physicist
  • Bruno Rossi, astrophysicist
  • Asher Salah, Historian
  • Beniamino Segre, mathematician
  • Cesare Segre, linguistics, semiotics
  • Corrado Segre, mathematician
  • Emilio Segrè, physicist, Nobel Prize (1959)
  • pedigree of Sforno
  • Piero Sraffa, economist
  • Manfredo Tafuri, architectural historian, critic and theorist
  • Ariel Toaff, Historian
  • Andrew Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm
  • Vito Volterra, mathematician
  • Bruno Zevi, architectural critic and historian

Musicians

  • Mario Ancona, baritone
  • Abramo Basevi, composer and musician
  • Alvise Bassano, musician
  • Anthony Bassano, musician
  • Baptista Bassano, musician
  • Jeronimo Bassano, musician
  • Haim Cipriani, violinist and reform rabbi
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, guitar,classical and synagogal music composer
  • Giacobbe Cervetto, cellist and composer
  • Lorenzo Da Ponte (b. Emanuele Conegliano), opera librettist (born Jewish, raised Catholic)
  • Abramino dall'Arpa, harpist
  • Aldo Finzi, composer
  • Salamone Rossi, baroque composer
  • Victor de Sabata, conductor (Jewish mother)
  • Leone Sinigaglia, composer
  • Obadiah the Proselyte (musician)

Writers

  • Enrico Castelnuovo, father of Guido
  • Giorgio Bassani, author
  • Angela Bianchini, fiction writer
  • Riccardo Calimani, fiction writer and historian
  • Lorenzo Da Ponte (b. Emanuele Conegliano), opera librettist (born Jewish, raised Catholic)
  • Leonardo de Benedetti, physician and writer
  • Manuela Dviri, writer
  • Alain Elkann, writer and journalist, father of John, Lapo and Ginevra
  • Carlo Ginzburg, historian, writer, essayst and pioneer of microhistory
  • Leone Ginzburg, writer (born in Ukraine)
  • Natalia Ginzburg (b. Levi), author (Jewish father), wife of Leone and mother of Carlo
  • Arrigo Levi, writer, journalist and TV anchorman
  • Carlo Levi, writer, painter and physician
  • Primo Levi, chemist and author
  • Carlo Michelstaedter, philosopher
  • Lisa Morpurgo Dordoni, writer, astrologer
  • Paolo Mieli, journalist, historian and director of Corriere della Sera
  • Liana Millu, writer
  • Alberto Moravia (b. Pincherle), author (Jewish father)
  • Alessandro Piperno, writer
  • Umberto Saba, poet (Jewish mother)
  • Roberto Saviano, writer, journalist (Jewish mother)
  • Clara Sereni, writer
  • Italo Svevo (b. Schmitz), author
  • Humbert Wolfe, poet and civil servant[9]

Artists

  • Vito D'Ancona, painter
  • Cristiana Capotondi, actress (half Jewish)
  • Gioele Dix, (b. Davide Ottolenghi) actor and comedian
  • Ginevra Elkann, film director, sister of John and Lapo
  • Arnoldo Foà, actor
  • Massimiliano Fuksas, architect (Jewish father)
  • Vittorio Gassman, actor (Jewish mother)
  • Alessandro Haber, actor
  • Carlo Levi, writer, painter and physician
  • Leo Lionni
  • Gino Levi Montalcini, architect
  • Emanuele Luzzati, painter
  • Gabriele Levy, sculptor
  • Anna Magnani, actress (Jewish mother)
  • Amedeo Modigliani, painter and sculptor
  • Ernesto Nathan Rogers, architect, critic and editor
  • Moni Ovadia, theatre figure
  • Gillo Pontecorvo, director
  • Xenia Rappoport, actress
  • Bruno Zevi, architect

Political figures

  • Emanuele Fiano, politician
  • Vittorio Foa, socialist trade unionist
  • Sansone D'Ancona, Senator
  • Alessandro d'Ancona, 1904 Senator and 1906 mayor of Pisa
  • Alessandro Fortis, Italian Prime Minister (1905–1906)
  • Anna Kuliscioff, revolutionary feminist
  • [ Rita Levi-Montalcini, scientist and Senator
  • Luigi Luzzatti, Italian Prime Minister (1910–1911)
  • Ernesto Nathan, mayor of Rome (1907–1913)
  • Margherita Sarfatti, journalist & mistress of Benito Mussolini
  • Claudio Treves, politician and writer, grandfather of Carlo Levi
  • Leone Wollemborg, politician and former Minister of Economy
  • Vincenzo Cirillo, campaigner for the expansion of the state of Israel

Business

  • John & Lapo Elkann, Vice Chairman of Fiat (Jewish father).
  • Armand, Georges, Maurice & Paul Marciano, founders of GUESS.
  • Moses Haim Montefiore, financier & philanthropist.
  • Adriano Olivetti, son of Camillo, industrialist and social activist.
  • Camillo Olivetti, founder of Olivetti typewriters.
  • Carlo De Benedetti, industrialist, ex-CEO of FIAT, Olivetti, CIR Group, ex-deputy chairman of Banco Ambrosiano and ex president of Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso.
  • Chaim Bracha, One of the founders of Jaffa Oranges

Other

  • Eugenio Calò, a Jewish partisan awarded the Gold Medal for Military Valour
  • Angelo Donati, banker who protected Jews in Southern France during Italian occupation in 1942-43
  • Mario Finzi, partisan (died in Auschwitz in 1945)
  • Gad Lerner, TV anchorman and journalist
  • Renato Mannheimer, pollster, president of IPSO
  • Maurizio Molinari, journalist and essayist
  • Edgardo Mortara, boy kidnapped by Catholic Papal authorities
  • Fiamma Nirenstein, essayist, journalist and MP for PDL (elected in 2008)
  • Enzo Sereni
  • Leo de Benedicto
  • Pagano Ebriaci
  • Vera Funaro Modigliani
  • Giuseppe Emanuele Mene Modigliani
  • Gino Levi Montalcini
	

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Mario Toselli (born 8 JAN 1903 in Cuneo, died 22 AUG 1969) is reported to have saved many Jews. [http://www.ajr.org.uk/journalpdf/1955_november.pdf AJR Article Page 7

He is also mentioned in a book "Luoghi della memoria, memoria dei luoghi nelle regioni alpine occidentali ..." that I cannot read: http://tinyurl.com/kp3l669