Ferrara

Emilia-Romagna Italy’s Jewish heart

A lone bell tolls from somewhere close by, not an unfamiliar sound when you’re in Italy, but at this moment it’s rather more poignant. I’m inside Ferrara’s ancient synagogue, still going strong in the heart of the former medieval ghetto, nearly 600 years after it was built. Tonight though it’s completely rammed, standing room only for the Friday night service and Rabbi Luciano Caro is beaming from ear to ear. Is Emilia-Romagna Italy’s Jewish heart? This region is a veritable treasure trove of Jewish history, and the cities of Bologna, Cento and Ferrara in particular, owe their very existence to their Jewish communities.

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