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Elena Comparetti (Raffalovich)

Birthplace: Odesa, Odes'ka oblast, Russia now Ukraine
Death: November 29, 1918 (76)
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Place of Burial: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Leon Anisimovic Raffalovich and Rosette Raffalovich
Wife of Domenico Comparetti
Mother of Laura Milani (Comparetti)
Sister of Marie Raffalovich and Nadine Marie Chaptal de Chanteloup

Occupation: educator, froebeliana Russian
Managed by: Anita Chaptal Rudy, PhD
Last Updated:

About Elena Comparetti

Elena Raffalovich née 22 mai 1842 Odessa, morte 29 novembre 1918 Florence (sa tombe y est). Femme de Domenico Comparetti, philologue. Connue pour ses recherches en pédagogie et éducation.

From Odessa to Florence: Elena Comparetti Raffalovich. A Jewish Russian Woman in Nineteenth-Century Italy by Asher Salah Bernardo Dessau by Marco Bencich

The intellectual biography of Elena Raffalovich is also interesting in light of the history of the Jewish family in nineteenth-century Europe. As suggested by Tullia Catalan, it would be valuable “to reach a comparative synthesis, which examines the economic and social strategies among port-Jews during the nineteenth century, focusing on the presence of a dense network of business and family ties, from Odessa and the main commercial and intellectual centers of Western Europe.”13 The voluminious information available on the different scions of the Raffalovich dynasty14 who attained positions of high social prestige and left significant traces of their accomplishments in the European cultural scene, allows us to view Elena in a diachronic and transnational perspective throughout ‘the long nineteenth century.’ Too, we will attempt to understand how a Jewish family such as the Raffalovichs reshaped its identities in the course of its wanderings between the Czarist Empire and the West.15

Elena Raffalovich’s Life Elena was the third daughter of Leon (Lev Anisimovic) and Rosette Lowensohn, born in Odessa on May 22, 1842 after Marie (1833-1921) and Nadine (1836-1911). Other than the strong attachment of the young Elena to her father, who appears as a mentor and indefatigable supporter of Elena,16 little is known about her earlier years in Russia. In 1861, Elena’s parents left Odessa with their entire family and settled in Western Europe, dividing their time between France and Italy.17 It is not clear whether this move was made in order to avoid anti-Semitic pressures to convert, or as a consequence of the economic decline of this port city. With the beginning of the railroad boom of the 1860s and 1870s, the export line linking the major grain-producing regions of Russia with the western and southwestern borders of the Empire undermined the city’s importance in international trade.

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Elena Comparetti's Timeline

May 22, 1842
Odesa, Odes'ka oblast, Russia now Ukraine
November 29, 1918
Age 76
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Florence, Tuscany, Italy