The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - LETTERS - STEPHEN VISHNICK Tel Aviv

We must thank Bar­bara Sofer for clearly in­tro­duc­ing us to this highly laud­able project in Ferrara where Si­mon­etta Della Seta and her hus­band, Mas­simo, over­see the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ital­ian Ju­daism and the Shoah (The Hu­man Spirit, Septem­ber 13).

The con­nec­tion and his­tory of Italy and the Jews is so deep and mean­ing­ful, es­pe­cially with the de­struc­tion by Ro­man armies cap­tur­ing Jerusalem and de­stroy­ing the Sec­ond Temple.

How­ever, we learn that Jews were al­ready domi­ciled in Rome two cen­turies ear­lier and through the ages, and by 932 CE were liv­ing in cities such as Venice, where in 1516 they were limited to liv­ing in a ghetto; and we are, of course, re­minded that in the Nazi era 8,000 Ital­ian Jews were mur­dered in the Holo­caust.

The mu­seum be­ing such a sig­nif­i­cant es­tab­lish­ment con­vey­ing Jewish con­nec­tion to Italy, I ques­tion whether Pope Fran­cis has vis­ited, and if not, an in­vi­ta­tion should be ex­tended, as he needs to con­tinue to show the Catholic Church’s concern for his pre­de­ces­sor’s not speak­ing out against the Holo­caust.

This visit would not merely be a ges­ture but hope­fully would give full mean­ing to the me­mory of Jews who have suf­fered through the ages in Italy, but within the walls of this mu­seum would also con­vey the great con­tri­bu­tion Jews hav­ing made.

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