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Where do you want to travel?

A reader’s journey through Jewish Italy.


On The Music of the Jews of Rome

Francesco Spagnolo, University of California, Berkeley The history of Jewish music in Italy is long, fascinating, and filled with contradictions. Its length is due to the very history of Italian Jewry, whose origins go back more than two thousand years. Fascination stems from the meeting of the music of the Jewish Diaspora, represented in Italy […]


Leo Levi on the Music of the Jews of Italy

Traditional Jewish Music and Italian-Jewish Liturgical Traditions Leo Levi z”l, Jerusalem, summer 1955 (Published in: “Rassegna Mensile di Israel,” Tishri 5718, Ottobre 1957, Vol. XXIII, N. 10) Cassone Adimari, 1443–50, Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence What is the status of the minhaghim with regard to liturgical music and its distribution in Jewish […]


Sarra Copia Sullam

Howard Tzvi Adelman The most accomplished, and thus the least typical, Jewish woman writer of early-modern Italy was Sarra Copia Sullam (c. 1592–1641). The details of her life reveal the great opportunities and potential dangers in the life of at least one woman of wealth and talent. Sarra was one of three daughters born to […]


The Jews of Italy

Arnaldo Momigliano 1. Italian history is always a difficult subject. Behind it and inside it there is the extraordinary variety of regional and urban units; the history of Florence is not the history of Pisa, or even that of Arezzo, or Siena, or Volterra. Where the Jews are involved, the differences in local traditions are […]


The first mention of Jews in Mantua dates from the 12th century, when Abraham ibn Ezra finished his grammatical work “Zahot”(1145) there. Apparently, he was in the city again in 1153. There are no further references to Jews in connection with Mantua until they are mentioned in the new statutes of the city at the […]