The center of Italy’s cultural and political life, Rome has one of the greatest concentrations of artistic treasures and historic monuments of the world. The Roman Jewish community is the oldest of the Diaspora: its ancient origins, its rich historical and artistic heritage, and monuments that have survived to the present day make the community of Rome a unique example not only in Italy but in the whole Diaspora.  Credit: www.visitJewishItaly.it  This long continuous presence has left traces stratified with those of the other inhabitants with whom through good and bad the Jews have lived for over two millennia. Thus many ancient Roman monuments bear signs or memories for their presence. One great example is the Arch of Titus, in the Roman Forum, with scenes showing the deportation of Jews from Palestine, including prisoners carrying a seven-branched candelabrum to Rome after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. A constant factor in the Jewish history of Rome was papal policy. For centuries it meant persecution and discrimination. Jewish Museum in Rome There are several places of Jewish interest and the most important is surely the Ghetto, the specific area bounded by the Isola Tiberina section of the Tiber, the Ponte Fabricio (Ponte Quattro Capi), Via del Portico d’Ottavia and Piazza delle Cinque Scole. This was the area designated as Rome’s Ghetto by Pope Paul IV in the bull ‘Cum nimis absurdum’ of July 14th, 1555. It is today the center of Jewish life, with the most important synagogue and a Jewish school, kosher restaurants and shops. This area is very surprising since Jews were already living here in Roman times.  

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Micaela Pavoncello

Ciao! My name is Micaela Pavoncello and I am a proud member of the Jewish Community of Rome. I was born in Rome to a Jewish Roman father (proud to be here since Caesar’s time!) and a Libyan Jewish Sephardic mother. I am married to Angelo and we have three sons, Gabriel, Nathan, and Isaac. I have lived in Rome my entire life, except for one year I lived in Argentina and another year in Israel. I am in love with my city and that’s the reason why I decided to study Art History at Rome’s university. Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet other Jews, share my story with them, and compare my community with their and other communities. Throughout my time as a guide, while meeting people along my journey, I have come to realize how miraculous the existence of the Jewish Community of Rome really is. I founded Jewish Roma Walking Tours in 2003 after completing my studies in Art History and a year of research at the central Archive of Rome where I was looking for documents about my family during the ghetto times. I also had a full time job at MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, where I was responsible for the exhibitions department and I had the opportunity to meet artists, collectors, curators, and visitors from all over the world. Taking people on tours of Rome, meeting travelers, and teaching them about the bimillenary existence of the Jews in this city made me understand that most people see Rome only as a city of Christianity. However… The Jewish Community of Rome’s history of resilience, culinary traditions, different minhag (musical-liturgical traditions), Jewish-Roman dialect, and continuous presence in the same place, make us the most ancient citizens of Rome and unique contributors to the fabric of the Eternal City. We have been witnesses of the grandeur of the Roman Empire, and to its fall, the beginning of Christianity, the Barbarians, the Inquisition, The Popes, the ghettos, and the final Emancipation. We went through World War Two and the Shoah and still we thrive today.

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Brenda Lee Bohen March 20, 2022

Virtual Tour of the Ostia Antica Synagogue with Andrea Stoler - Coming this summer 2022

The Ostia Antica Synagogue The Synagogue, the oldest in Europe, at Ostia Antica was initially built in the first or second century (CE), when Ostia became the port on the Mediterranean for Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber River. In a short period of time, this was the seat of commercial activities, notable by the presence of people of diverse religious beliefs and attracted numerous Jews. Grain was one of its most important imports. The city grew and changed, as did the synagogue. Its final reconstruction dates to the fifth century (CE), during a period when the port of Ostia was still busy. The Synagogue covers a large area, including an entrance, its façade, and many other rooms. In its earliest form, the synagogue featured a main hall with benches along three walls; a monumental gateway featuring tall Corinthian columns; a dining room with couches along three walls, and a basin near the entryway for ritual washings. Importantly, as it should be, benches around the apse faced Jerusalem, not Rome. The most notable Jewish feature among the ruins are columns—technically—and architrave, with an incised menorah, a shofar, and the lulav and etrog (used for the holiday of Sukkot). The Virtual Walking Tour of Ostia Antica The Virtual Walking Tour of Ostia Antica with Andrea Stoler will highlight the synagogue, but there are also amazing ruins of Ostia Antica to be seen (as good as Pompeii some people have commented). One can view the remains of a flour mill: places to store the wheat, the millstones for grinding it, and a large oven for baking bread. Related and fascinating, at the synagogue bread or matzoh were made, as ruins of an oven and marble table are present. She will point out how the architectural elegance of this particular sacred structure, a little synagogue, seems out-of-place within the empty landscape and overgrown weeds. But the history is very provocative, originally being near water and on the outside of the city walls. Looks and location can be deceiving, as recently it has been postulated to be a relatively populated area with villas during the final reconstruction phase. [caption id="attachment_34077" align="alignnone" width="540"] Andrea Stoler[/caption] Take a journey through time, visit ruins of a relatively intact ancient Roman city and hear stories about the oldest synagogue in Europe which has features similar to synagogues today. Her virtual tour will include images of important aspects of the Ostia Antica Port and an explanation of the entire complex, including fascinating lesser-known archaeological finds that will soon be published. About the Writer, Brenda Lee Bohen Brenda is a Latina and a proud Veteran of the United States Army Reserves. She holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Italy. She is a trained historic preservationist who tirelessly advocates the scholarship and history of the Jews of Rome. She has her certification in Jewish leadership and continues advanced studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Brenda is also a licensed and accredited tour guide at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Vatican Museums. Read more blogs from Brenda: Tour of Jewish Catacombs in Rome, 3 Literary Treasures of The Jewish Museum of Rome Sources: https://museoebraico.roma.it/en/ Treasures Of The Jewish Museum Of Rome: Guide To The Museum And Its Collections, by Daniela Di Castro. Araldo De Luca Editore, Rome 2010; reprinted 2016

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Brenda Lee Bohen March 13, 2022

Tour of Jewish Catacombs in Rome with a Jew from Rome. Micaela Pavoncello

Tour of Jewish Catacombs in Rome with Micaela Pavoncello Pavoncello is a member of the Jewish Community of Rome and she shares specific insights, with majestic detail, about her ancestors - the Roman Jews. Pavoncello and her team of educators from the community, all Roman Jews, are on an educational mission to ensure that tourists from all backgrounds be exposed to Rome's Jewish history by teaching and sharing their authentic Roman Jewish religion, culture, and traditions. The Catacombs of Rome The importance of the ancient Jewish community of Imperial Rome is attested by numerous symbols, such as the menorah, the shofar, oil lamps, amphorae, and the Four Species, most of which come from the Jewish catacombs. The Catacombs are deep, subterranean tunnels (underground cemeteries) with long corridors, burial niches, and cubicles. The Jewish catacombs were never venues of liturgical celebration-- according to Jewish belief, contact with the dead renders one impure. Jewish law and tradition command that Jews be buried in the ground. Burial niches were also dug in the catacombs. The name catacomb originates from the late Latin catacumba (etymology is uncertain), indicated, at first. a particular cave, hence, for instance, there were the Catacumbas, on the Appian Way outside the city center of Rome. In Rome, there is evidence of six catacombs, but only two, the Villa Torlonia on Via Nomentana and Vigna Randanini near the Via Antica, are accessible today. The Stone Epitaphs Pavoncello provides full-day excursions involving accurate explanations of how the Jews of Rome bury their dead, from antiquity to present times. Her explanations include an overview of the valuable documentation of stone epitaphs. These include cast copies and some originals found today in the Jewish Museum of Rome, the Vatican Museums, the Capitoline Museums, the Roman National Museum, and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. The funerary stone epigraphical inscriptions identify those buried. They enable us to know the different names of the Roman Jews from the time of the Roman Empire, as well as the names of the various congregations to which they belonged. The inscriptions likewise include the administrative positions and the organizational structure of the Roman Jewish community. Some of the oldest epigraphical documentation which Pavoncello explains date back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries of the Common Era and are inscribed in ancient Greek. There is one particular inscription within the Jewish Museum’s collection which is in Aramaic and Greek,  It belongs to a Jewess named Isadora and entails important information about the Jewish women in ancient Rome. In fact, there are several epitaphs dedicated to women in ancient Rome, proving how women held leadership roles and were cherished and respected by their husbands, sons, and the community. Pavoncello’s tours provide a direct relationship to the Roman Jewish past and still thriving community, and more interestingly, the symbolism used by ancient Roman Jews are symbols Jews will recognize and consider important even today. “The Jewish catacombs are a source of pride for our Jewish community, which is often referred to as one of the most ancient of the Diaspora since they attest to our presence in Rome since far-off times,” says the Chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni. “The catacombs belong to a very specific period in the history of Judaism, when the verse ‘For dust you are, and to dust, you shall return (Bereshit 3, 19) was fulfilled not by burying the dead in the ground, but in the loculi excavated in the stone,” Di Segni added, explaining what it is possible to learn about the Jewish life of that times. About the Writer, Brenda Lee Bohen Brenda is a Latina and a proud Veteran of the United States Army Reserves. She holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Italy. She is a trained historic preservationist who tirelessly advocates the scholarship and history of the Jews of Rome. She has her certification in Jewish leadership and continues advanced studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Brenda is also a licensed and accredited tour guide at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Vatican Museums. Read more blogs from Brenda: Jewish Rome, 3 Literary Treasures of The Jewish Museum of Rome Sources: Treasures of The Jewish Museum of Rome: Guide to The Museum and Its Collections by Daniela Di Castro. Arnaldo De Luca Editore, Rome 2010; reprinted 2016. Ancient Symbols for A New History, 38-40 Jewish Museum of Rome https://museoebraico.roma.it/en/ Jewish Roma http://www.jewishroma.com  https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-rome-spectacular-ancient-jewish-catacombs-opening-haunted-by-delays/ https://www.timesofisrael.com/inside-the-catacombs-buried-history-ties-jews-to-ancient-rome/  

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Brenda Lee Bohen February 15, 2022

Micaela Pavoncello Jewish Roma Walking Tours

The Jewish community has lived in Rome for 2,200 years without interruption, which makes it one of the oldest communities present outside the land of Israel. Yet I found that, though the numerous tour guides explaining the ghetto have great interest in the Jewish community, their knowledge about it seems limited, especially about practical details. The purpose of my blog is to educate travel professionals, educational and religious institutions from around the globe to learn and expand their knowledge of the people, neighborhood, synagogues, institutions, and cultural events that shape today’s thriving Jewish community of Rome. Jewish Roma Walking Tours Micaela is an Italian Roman Jewish woman.  Her ancestors came to the Eternal City at the time of the Maccabim before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (70 CE). Interestingly, the Roman Jewish community is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to when Judah the Maccabee sent embassies to Rome due to the conflict with the Greeks. This is considered the earliest record of contact between the Jews and the Roman Republic. [caption id="attachment_32370" align="alignnone" width="1125"] Pavoncello has been captivating international audiences from all backgrounds for twenty years about the history of her people—The Jews of Rome.[/caption] Jewish Roma Walking Tours are given by Pavoncello and her colleagues from the community. The three-hour excursion, which explains the history of the Roman Jews from antiquity to the present day includes a visit to the museum rooms, the Spanish Synagogue, the Tempio Maggiore (Great Synagogue), and a walk around the former Ghetto Quarter. During their visit participants will learn about the ancient epigraphical collection, the unique Torah textiles and fabrics, view the collection of liturgy instruments/artefacts, the current exhibition 1848-1871: The Jews of Rome between Segregation to Emancipation, the Shoah and what it was like from Roman Jews, the Libyan community present in Rome, and the history of the Cinque Scole. Jewish Roma  The Diaspora started after the Roman conquest, particularly during the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 CE, and the Jews were dispersed throughout Spain and along with the Mediterranean, (Sephardic Jews) in Central and Northern Europe (Ashkenazi Jews) and in Italy, where Jewish settlements already existed. According to tradition, prayers originated in two different locations, the land of Israel and Babylon. Both traditions are based on a common formula, the Seder Rav Amram, composed in Babylon during the 9th BCE with continuous migrations. the communities scattered throughout the world set down their own autonomous minhag with variations on the main text, additional minhag, and original forms of recitation. Judaism is both a culture and a religion. It is a way of living and examining life in accordance with the Hebrew Scriptures and rabbinic traditions. The Roman Italian (liturgy) minhag bnei Roma (“from the children of Rome”). Its origins are the closest to the Land of Israel, diverse prayer from other branches of Judaism, and it is recited today in Tempio Maggiore – The Great Synagogue. Ghetto  From 1555 to 1870, a walled ghetto was instituted in an area near the banks of the Tiber River, which overflowed regularly. It was a walled quarter separating the city’s Jews from the Christian population, its gates opening at dawn and closing at dusk. The Jews were forced to sell their land and property. Jews were required to wear a yellow badge so that they can be recognized as they were forbidden to fraternize with Christians. Jewish physicians were prohibited from treating Christian patients, Jewish merchants were only limited to selling used objects, and the activity of money lenders was regulated to favor the development of Christian-owned banks. The old ghetto was in the form of a rectangular trapezoid and contained two main streets running parallel to the Tiber River, it had several small streets and alleys, three piazzas, and four piazette that together occupied about one-third of the seven-acre enclosure. The houses were cramped close together and extraordinary measures had to take place in which families had to build floors on top of other floors. Living conditions for Rome’s Jews remained terribly harsh and cruel until the Ghetto was finally demolished in 1870. Cinque Scole The Jews forced into the Ghetto were from very different places and cultures. There were local Roman Jews decedents from before and after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem together with those who were forced into Rome from large numbers of towns in the Lazio region. There were also large numbers of Jews from Sicily, Spain, and Portugal after the expulsion order in 1492, the Inquisition. All of these Jewish groups had different liturgies, languages, customs, and rituals, so that the beginning of the sixteenth century, there were nine to ten different Scole: Tempio, Nova, Quattro Capi, di Porta and/or Portaleone, Catalan-Aragonese, Castilian, French, German and Sicilian. The Pope mandated the use of only one building for worship and this led to the development of placing Cinque Scole (five synagogues joined by stairways and corridors) under one roof. Shoah (Shoà) When discussing the experience of Roman Jewry during Nazi Occupation, it is important to learn about Jewish life in Rome from a member of the community. On July 14, 1938, under the auspices of the Ministry of Popular Culture, there were scientists who produced a document called Il fascimo e I problemi della razza – Manifesto of Race. The manifesto document was edited by Benito Mussolini himself, was inconsistent by a scientific viewpoint, and was drafted for propaganda purposes, to demonstrate that the Jewish problem was founded in biology, and was no longer only religious, psychological, or philosophical. The Italian Jewish population was forced to declare itself the “Jewish race”: a real and true census. All those who had at least one Jewish parent had to incriminate themselves. This was not just an isolated historical event, but something much bigger and more complex. It placed all people of the Jewish faith, considered as belonging to a different race, inferior and dangerous. Pavoncello narrates on her tours the darkest and most painful day of Roman Judaism –October 16, 1943. She tells personal family stories about anti-Semitism and when the Nazis deported her great-grandmother. In addition, she also shares with participants a great day of emotion for the entire Pavoncello family, when the great-grandchildren of Nonna Emma Di Porto Pavoncello all gathered in the Garbatella district in Rome for the laying of the Stolperstein stumbling block in her memory. Never Forget! Authors note: Explanations inside the museum and synagogue complexes are only allowed from a member and/or an authorized educator from the Jewish community of Rome. About the Writer, Brenda Lee Bohen Brenda is a Latina and a proud Veteran of the United States Army Reserves. She holds dual citizenship in both the United States and Italy. She is a trained historic preservationist who tirelessly advocates the scholarship and history of the Jews of Rome. She has her certification in Jewish leadership and continues advanced studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Brenda is also a licensed and accredited tour guide at the Jewish Museum of Rome and the Vatican Museums. Read more blogs from Brenda: Jewish Rome, 3 Literary Treasures of The Jewish Museum of Rome Sources: Jewish Roma http://www.jewishroma.com Jewish Museum of Rome https://museoebraico.roma.it/en/ The Italians of the Jewish Race: The anti-Semitic Laws of 1938 and the Jews of Rome (Palombi Editore, 2018) Treasures Of The Jewish Museum Of Rome: Guide To The Museum And Its Collections by Daniela Di Castro. Arnaldo De Luca Editore, Rome 2010; reprinted 2016

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The Rose Garden on the Aventine Hill is one of the most poetic sites of the Eternal City 🌹😍

📖 It owes its existence to American-born Countess Mary Gailey Senni, botanical expert and nature lover. She made the opening of the first garden on the Oppian Hill, near the Colosseum, in 1932 which was  destroyed during the Second World War, then moved in 1950 to its present position.

✅ On the same site from 1645 there was the Garden of the Jews (“Orto degli Ebrei”) with an adjoining Jewish cemetery until 1934; for this reason, the Rose Garden alleys have been designed as a Jewish menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum symbol of Judaism.

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There are so my beautiful places in Rome, I will add here one more “Pearl” - Jewish Synagoge of Rome.
#rome #rome2021 #synagoguerome #sinagoga #italy #italia #italy2021 #travel #jewishrome #tempiomaggiore #summer #travelgram #picoftheday #ביתכנסתרומא#ביתכנסת#רומא#איטליה#טיול#חופשה #рим #синагога #путешествие #италия #красота #путешествия #лето

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Il 12 Luglio 1555, con la bolla "Cum nimis absurdum", Papa Paolo IV istituisce il primo ghetto ebraico a Roma, revocando tutti i diritti concessi agli ebrei romani ed ordinando l'istituzione del "serraglio degli ebrei", nel rione Sant'Angelo accanto al teatro di Marcello.
Oltre all'obbligo di risiedere all'interno del ghetto, gli ebrei dovevano portare un segno distintivo di colore glauco che li rendesse sempre riconoscibili; veniva inoltre loro proibito di esercitare qualunque commercio ad eccezione di quello degli stracci e dei vestiti usati.

On July 12th 1555, with the bull "Cum nimis absurdum", Pope Paul IV instituted the first Jewish ghetto in Rome, revoking all the rights granted to the Roman Jews and ordering the institution of the "menagerie of the Jews", in the Sant'Angelo district next to the Theatre of Marcellus.
In addition to the obligation to reside within the ghetto, the Jews were required to wear a distinctive sign of glaucous colour that would always make them recognizable; they were also forbidden to engage in any trade, except that of rags and used clothes.

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🇮🇹 Antica Sinagoga in Vicolo dell’Atleta. Trastevere.

🇬🇧Ancient Synagogue at Trastevere. Vicolo dell’Altleta.

#roma #rome #turismoroma #synagogue #trastevere #italia #italy #vivoroma #rometravel #italytravel #larissaromeguide #visitrome #visititaly #romaurbeaeterna #romecityworld #romaebraica #jewishrome

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