Pope Francis and Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni exchanged greetings to mark Passover and Easter.
Pope Francis gave a shout-out to Jews during the open-air Mass that formally installed him as pontiff.
Italy awarded Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, its highest decoration given to a non-Italian.
Pope Benedict XVI’s eight-year reign as head of the world’s 1 billion Catholics sometimes was a bumpy one for the Vatican’s relations with Israel and the wider Jewish community. But it was also a period in which relations where consolidated and fervent pledges made to continue interfaith dialogue and bilateral cooperation.
European soccer authorities have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Rome soccer team Lazio for the alleged anti-Semitism of its fans.
Rome’s provincial council is calling for websites that promote racism and anti-Semitism to be blocked and such online hatred criminalized.
Italy’s prime minister promised Italian Jews he would stand beside them in the fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
The Rome Jewish community mourned the death of an Italian Muslim leader who was a key figure in promoting interfaith Jewish-Muslim relations.
Roman Jews canceled an outdoor celebration at Rome’s main synagogue to honor the national day of mourning for the victims of last month’s earthquakes in northern Italy.
Wicky Hassan, a Libyan-born Italian Jew who founded the popular Miss Sixty fashion brand, has died in Rome.
Police in Rome have arrested five neo-fascists on charges of plotting violence against the Rome Jewish community.
Crowds on the streets of Rome jeered and cheered when their long-serving, scandal-plagued prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, stepped down over the weekend. A choir even sang Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in front of the presidential palace as he handed in his resignation.
A Libyan Jewish exile attempting to restore Tripoli's main synagogue will leave the country following angry protests.
Rome's Jewish community has threatened to stage a counter rally against a right-wing extremist who announced a recruitment rally next month for a paramilitary-style nationalist vigilante group.
The Talmud will be translated for the first time into Italian thanks to an official collaboration between the Italian government and the Italian Jewish community. A protocol launching "Project Talmud" was signed Friday in Rome by cabinet ministers, the president of Italy's National Research Council, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) and Rome's chief rabbi. The project foresees the translation of the original Aramaic version of the Babylonian Talmud, with commentaries, as well as an introductory volume about the structure, contents and language of the Talmud.
"My name is Micaela Pavoncello, thank you for contacting Jewish Roma Walking tours.” That was the first line of the response we got about joining Micaela on one of her Jewish-themed tours in Rome. While not inexpensive, her tour of the Jewish Ghetto was definitely the highlight of our stay in Rome.
In 2000, the pope undertook a pilgrimage to and formally recognized the State of Israel, inserting a note between the stones of the Western Wall.
Put aside the wonderful food and wine -- for a moment -- and a European vacation becomes a trip backward in time through century after century of religious fervor.
Shops selling kosher products say the increased demand is coming mainly from Jews. But restaurateurs say at least half their customers are non-Jews who want to sample classic Roman Jewish cooking, which many consider to be the most sophisticated of traditional Roman cuisines.
The dates and times are all one blur. What remains crystal clear, however, is what it was like to be an Israeli in the early 1970s, when the phenomenon of international terror began: Japanese terrorists landing at Lod Airport and gunning down dozens of pilgrims just arrived from Peru; German terrorists trying to shoot down an El Al airliner taking off from Kenya; the hijacking of Israeli and foreign aircraft en route to Israel; attacks by the Red Brigades on Israelis and on embassies in London and Seoul, and in Athens, Paris and Rome. And, of course, the horrible massacre at the Munich Olympics.
During a private audience at the Vatican, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged Pope Benedict XVI this week to lead a "coalition of the good" against international terrorism and threats from Iran.
Rome is a layer cake of culinary civilizations. For centuries Jewish specialties have formed the core of the Roman culinary repertoire including Carciofi alla Romana (artichokes braised in white wine and olive oil), Gnocchi di Semolino alla Romana (semolina gnocchi with butter and cheese), Aliciotti con l'Indivia (baked anchovy and endives) and Lattughe Farcite (stuffed lettuce with olives and anchovies).
Jews first came to Rome in large numbers as prisoners following the annexation of their lands by general Pompey the Great in the first century B.C.E. The Roman Jewish community flourished under prince Herod Agrippa II, who moved from Judea to Rome with his entourage after Emperor Titus' destruction of Jerusalem (70 C.E.).
The day before he discovered the novel "House of Sand and Fog" in 2001, Vadim Perelman asked his chauffeur to drive him to a slum in suburban Rome. Perelman, a successful commercial director, was in Italy on an AT&T shoot. But he wanted to return to the tenement that had been his home when he arrived from Kiev with his mother in 1977.
What better place to visit as civilization teetered at the brink than the repository of much of civilization's bounty?
On Yom Kippur, my wife Sally and I went to shul just around the corner from the Vatican. It was a visit we will not soon forget. The imposing Comunita Ebraica di Roma Synagogue (the Great Synagogue of Rome) sits just off the Piazza del Firori close to the Tiber River and spitting distance from Vatican City across the river in one direction, and Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in the other.
For Italian expatriates Lotte Katz Singer of Beverly Hills and Ann Signett of the San Fernando Valley, life is surprising as well as beautiful.
As Rabbi Allen Freehling of University Synagogue in West Los Angeles and a bus load of bishops and rabbis left the Rome airport for their hotel near the Vatican, one of the bishops read aloud a document that would soon spark a firestorm of controversy around the world: the Vatican's March 16 statement on the Holocaust, released just hours before. The group had just flown in from Israel, where they had spent a week worshiping together, learning about each other's histories, and beginning to understand, as only true friends can, what the other believes.