Oldest - Jewish Ghetto in the World - Venezia, Italy
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member denben
N 45° 26.724 E 012° 19.609
33T E 290952 N 5035906
Quick Description: The Venetian Ghetto is an area of the Cannaregio sestiere of Venice, divided into the Ghetto Nuovo (New Ghetto), and the adjacent Ghetto Vecchio (Old Ghetto).
Location: Veneto, Italy
Date Posted: 11/9/2017 7:36:13 AM
Waymark Code: WMX0PE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member jhuoni
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Venetian Ghetto was the area of Venice in which Jews were compelled to live by the government of the Venetian Republic. The English word "ghetto" is derived from the Jewish ghetto in Venice. The Venetian Ghetto was instituted on 29 March 1516 and is the oldest Jewish ghetto in the world. It was not the first time that Jews in Venice were compelled to live in a segregated area of the city.

In 1797 the French army of Italy, commanded by the 28-year-old General Napoleon Bonaparte, conquered Venice, dissolved the Venetian republic, and ended the ghetto's separation from the city. In the 19th century, the ghetto was renamed the Contrada dell'unione.

The names of the ghetto sections are misleading, as they refer to an older and newer site at the time of their use by the foundries. In terms of Jewish residence, the Ghetto Nuovo is actually older than the Ghetto Vecchio.

From outside you can’t see a difference between the Ghetto and the rest of Venice. The only distinctive features are the very high and narrow houses which had to be built due to lack of space in the 17th century. Right after the entrance to the Ghetto you can see a table to the left, which displays the penalties for Jews who convert to Christianity but still practise Jewish customs. The small Ebraico museum houses some remarkable objects, manuscripts and documents of the Jewish community of Venice. At the museum you can also arrange a guided tour to the Jewish cemetery on Lido.

Though it was home to a large number of Jews, the population living in the Venetian Ghetto never assimilated to form a distinct, "Venetian Jewish" ethnicity. Four of the five synagogues were clearly divided according to ethnic identity: separate synagogues existed for the German (the Scuola Grande Tedesca), Italian (the Scuola Italiana), Spanish and Portuguese (the Scuola Spagnola), and Levantine Sephardi communities (The Scola Levantina). The fifth, the Scuola Canton, was built as a private synagogue for the four families, one of them the Fano family, who funded its construction, and also served the Venetian Ashkenazi community. Today, there are also other populations of Ashkenazic Jews in Venice, mainly Lubavitchers who operate a kosher food store, a yeshiva, and a Chabad synagogue.

Today, the Ghetto is still a center of Jewish life in the city. The Jewish Community of Venice, that counts about 450 people, is still culturally very active, although only a few members live in the Ghetto.

In the Ghetto area there is also a yeshiva, several Judaica shops, and a Chabad synagogue run by Chabad of Venice. Although only few of the roughly 500 Venetian Jews still live in the Ghetto, many return there during the day for religious services in the two synagogues which are still used (the other three are only used for guided tours, offered by the Jewish Community Museum).

Sources: Wikipedia (visit link) and (visit link)
Type of documentation of superlative status: Websites

Location of coordinates: Center of the Campo del Ghetto Nuovo

Web Site: [Web Link]

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jezevcik visited Oldest - Jewish Ghetto in the World - Venezia, Italy 11/16/2017 jezevcik visited it