Jewish Heritage Expeditions

EXPLORING YOUR JEWISH ROOTS

Jewish Italy

The Italian city of Padua has an interesting Jewish history. Recently, the Jewish community of opened a permanent exhibition/museum to develop and promote the city’s rich, centuries-old Jewish heritage as both a resource for local people and an attractive itinerary for tourists and other visitors.

The Museo della Padova Ebraica (Museum of Jewish Padova) is sited in the former “German,” synagogue, Sinagoga Tedesca, used by the Ashkenazic community, which was inaugurated in 1525 in the heart of the Jewish quarter, or ghetto, in the city’s historic center. The synagogue was severely damaged during World War II when it was torched by local Fascists, and it stood derelict until it was completely rebuilt in 1998 (the ark was transferred to Tel Aviv in 1956).

In Padua you can also visit the 16th century  Italian rite synagogue, which is still used by the small (approx. 170 members) Jewish community, and the Jewish cemetery on via Wiel — dating from the 16th century and the oldest of the five Jewish cemeteries in the city.