Synagogue & Museo Ebraico


Synagogue & Museo Ebraico

Centre of Jewish history

The regents of the Este, especially Borso and Ercole I, were particularly tolerant of religion and saw the settlement of a large Jewish community in Ferrara, which was one of Italy’s largest Jewish communities in the 16th century. After Ferrara fell to the church, the district between Via delle Volte and Via Mazzini was converted into a Jewish ghetto, the so-called Ghetto Ebraico. Bricked and barred windows and doors in Via Contrari still attest to this time. The Jewish community was almost completely eradicated by National Socialists in the Second Wold War.

To this day there’s a synagogue and a small 20th century prayer room still in religious operation in a palazzo at Via Mazzini 95 – once a bestowal by the Jewish banker Samuel Melli to his fellow believers. The Italian temple is now used as a conference room for the Jewish community. The Museo Ebraico located above the rooms of the synagogue presents the life of Ferrara’s Jews over the course of several centuries showing cultural objects from everyday life, historical documents and a key to the former ghetto.

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