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.