Why should you tour the Roman Jewish Ghetto with me?
Well, for starters, I was born in Rome from a Jewish Roman father (proud to be here since Cesars time!) and a Libyan Jewish Sephardic mother. I have lived in Rome my entire life (not including the year I spent in Argentina and another year in Israel). Traveling has given me the opportunity to meet other Jews, share my story with them, and compare my community with theirs 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. Now I would like to share my story and experiences with you!
The first Jews in Rome came directly from Eretz Israel in 160 B. C. It was Chanukah and the Maccabees decided to travel as ambassadors to Rome in order to ask for protection from the Romans against the Syrian King Antiochus who had been giving the Jews in Palestine a hard time. So they came to Rome, and as you can see or will soon see, how could they not like it? (Roma has a nice climate, there was an important harbor, and there was much potential for business and better life).
This small group of Jews settled and created the first community in the Golah.
In 70 C.E Titus destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem. He brought many Jews to Rome as slaves, as well as the Menorah stolen from the Temple. The Jews living in Rome paid a ransom to liberate their brothers.
All that happened more than 2,000 years ago and still we thrive here today, after the Inquisition, the persecutions, the Ghetto and the concentration camps. There are only 16,000 Jews in Rome, yet we are the oldest community in this city. We never moved from here. We have been witness to so much change, yet our traditions and values still remain strong while living a Jewish life in a society based around Christianity.
Your Roman holiday would not be complete without a visit to the Jewish Ghetto with someone that can take you through with knowledge, anecdotes, legends and humour.
I am that person, and I would be glad to share all that with you.
Jewish Roma Cultural Association Activities Only For Members