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Italy

Mutiny In Milan: Meet Italy’s First Orthodox Woman Rabbi-To-Be

Mutiny In Milan: Meet Italy’s First Orthodox Woman Rabbi-To-Be

Miriam Camerini is the first Italian woman to enroll in an Orthodox rabbinical studies program in Israel.

She revealed it earlier this winter in an article she wrote for JOI (Jewish, Open & Inclusive) Magazine, an independent Jewish publication. The comments ensued: But, contrary to expectations, they were overwhelmingly positive. On social media, fellow Jewish Italian women congratulated Camerini. Someone wrote: “It reminds me of a beautiful movie with Barbra Streisand…”, referring to Yentl, the fictional character of a short story written by Isaac Bashevis Singer who pretended to be a man so that she could study in a yeshiva.

Unlike Yentl, Camerini won’t have to cut her hair short or wear a yarmulke.

This $500 Pure Silk Tallit Is Produced In An Italian Village — Alongside Hermes Scarves

This $500 Pure Silk Tallit Is Produced In An Italian Village — Alongside Hermes Scarves

Like many traditional Jewish brides, Dora Piperno wanted to give her future husband a tallit — a Jewish prayer shawl — as a wedding gift. With one difference: She wanted to give him a tallit made of silk, the same material the ones worn by her Italian ancestors were made of.

“Back in the day,” Piperno said, “women would sew incredible embroideries on their grooms’ tallitot, or they would pay someone else to do it.”

To her surprise, Piperno discovered that silk tallitot today reside mainly in some European Jewish museums and in private homes as a memento of the past. Due to the war, migrations, the changes in the local Jewish communities and the decline of silk production, which is costly and time-consuming, the tradition faded in the mid-1900’s. Today, most Jews wear wool or polyester-made tallitot.

Together with her younger sister Sofia, Dora decided to start her own production.

Italy’s Far Right Is on the March

This fall marks 80 years since Fascist Italy passed the racist laws that reduced Italian Jews to second-class citizens. Overnight, children like my grandparents were barred from attending public schools and many of their parents from performing their jobs. In the following years, almost 8,000 Italians of Jewish descent were killed in the Nazi death camps.

Eight decades later, the Jewish population in Italy has shrunk, but it thrives. There are several Jewish day schools, kosher restaurants, and active synagogues spread all the way from Turin to Naples. Jewish culture and history are also flourishing: Public institutions are paying for a software-assisted translation of the Babylonian Talmud and the annual European Day of Jewish Culture involves the participation of nearly 90 cities across the country. And yet, thousands of Benito Mussolini’s nostalgics still visit the fascist dictator’s burial place to pay homage, and pigs’ heads are left at synagogues before Holocaust Memorial Day.

Enter the new government. 

Opening door to migrants, some Italians defy government line

Opening door to migrants, some Italians defy government line

ROME (AP) — Italy has made headlines as a hard place for migrants recently, with racist attacks against blacks on its soil and a new government closing Italian ports to people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

But not all Italians are on board, and some are even reaching out to migrants.

Barbara di Clemente, a 79-year-old grandmother, opened her heart and home to Moriba Mamadou Diarra from Mali, hosting him at her two-bedroom apartment in Rome for the past four months. The 18-year-old says he fled his country because there, his “rights had been denied” and he couldn’t study and build a better future for himself.

3 kids heading on summer vacations among Italy bridge dead

ROME (AP) — Authorities in Italy, France and Albania have confirmed their citizens are among the 39 victims of Tuesday’s highway bridge collapse in Genoa. They include three children, traveling with their respective families on summer holidays. Here are some of their stories.