History of The Museum

The Umberto Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art

Founded in Jerusalem in 1983, the Umberto Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art was set up to collect, preserve and display objects pertaining to Jewish life in Italy from the Renaissance period through to the present time. This is the only museum that collects original artistic objects and documentation from all the Jewish communities throughout Italy.

Through its unique images and artifacts, the Museum’s collection recreates the richness of Jewish life in Italy throughout the ages. A history of cultural multiplicity bonded Italian Jewry to Italy, a country beset by centuries of fractioned states. This trait of the Italian political situation is reflected in the Italian Jewish patrimony. The cultural legacy of Italian Jewry, its vitality, creativity and respect for diverse cultural forms is reflected in its objects of art.

The collection of religious objects from Italian Jewry was brought from Italy to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s by Dr. Umberto Nahon, through a joint initiative of the Jewish communities of Italy and Israel.