Essays

The Doctored ‘Memoir’ of Edgardo Mortara

The Doctored ‘Memoir’ of a Jewish Boy Kidnapped by the Vatican Edgardo Mortara’s autobiography is roiling Catholic-Jewish relations—based on the false assumption that the text is accurate.  After a century…

The “Aryanization” of Italian Musical Life

This article was originally published by the Orel Foundation  and is republished with minor edits by permission.  In Italy there is absolutely no differentiation between Jews and non–Jews, in all fields,…

Ghetto and Not

The Relationship between Jews and Christians. Toward a Redefinition of the Ghetto In Italy, during the past two decades, Jewish history has pervasively captured the attention of researchers – even…

Surviving the Ghetto

Serena di Nepi, Sopravvivere al ghetto. Per una storia sociale della comunità ebraica nella Roma del Cinquecento, Viella, Roma, 2013   Serena di Nepi’s new book presents a vast, all…

The Music of the Jews of Rome

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…

Venice and its Minorities

  Before dealing with specific minorities in Venice, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by a minority. As a broad working definition for this essay, I would suggest…

Devising Resistance

Donald J. Trump’s election, inauguration, first appointments, and presidential decrees, have caused extreme disquiet to those who foresee the country drifting toward authoritarianism and a systematic undermining of the democratic…

Yesterday and Today

The way our societies confront the plight of the millions of refugees from various areas of the world escaping famine, ethnic, religious and political persecution, hopelessness and war, will be…