Strength and Splendor: Treasures of Italian Kehillot
The U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art presents an exhibition exploring the story of Italian Jewry, from the destruction of the Second Temple to the present day. Using ritual objects, documents, and treasures created by Jews themselves, the exhibition aims to present the beauty that emerged from Italy’s Jewish communities.
It is widely understood that Jews from the Land of Israel settled in Italy during the first century of the Common Era. Since then, Jews arrived from various locations, including Spain, Portugal, and northern European countries, in order to create the unique tapestry of Italian Jewry. Ideas and philosophies merged and mingled between communities, contributing to a spiritual and artistic richness. Naturally, the currents of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque impacted Jewish thought and aesthetics, leading to the creation of some of the most breathtaking works of Jewish art.
The unique Italian flair is present on the communal, ritual level as well as the domestic, personal plane. Beauty, both in written word and physical form, was the focus of each of these Italian communities. Despite their disparate origins, Italian Jewish communities managed to create a harmonious visual language that adopted the high standards of their secular compatriots.