The Umberto Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art is the only museum that collects objects and documentation from all the Jewish communities in Italy.
The Jewish community in Rome is likely one of the oldest continuous Jewish communities in the world, existing from classical times through to today.
Jews came to Rome during the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE came as merchants.
They settled as traders on the right bank of the Tiber, which developed into the Jewish quarter in Rome.
There, Jewish communities thrived and becoming a significant part of the Empire’s population
Julius Caesar was known as a great friend to the Jews, and are said to have to mourn his assassination more than anyone.
After the successive Jewish revolts, many Jews were brought to Rome as slaves, which was done commonly done inhabitants of defeated cities.
In addition to Rome, there were a significant number of Jewish communities throughout Italy.
Museum of Italian Jewish Art was founded in 1981 to collect, preserve and display objects pertaining to Jewish life in Italy from the Renaissance until today.
It has a collection of unique and rare objects from one of the oldest Jewish communities.
The museum consists of three parts, the Fresco Hall, the Conegliano Synagogue, and the galleries.
The entry hall is decorated beautiful frescoes depicting Biblical scenes and verses.
The highlight of the museum collection is the Conegliano Veneto Synagogue. It was built in 1701 in a village located between Padua and Venice.
It was brought to Israel in 1951 as part of a project to retrieve Jewish ritual objects from Italy.
To this day, members of the Italian community in Jerusalem come to pray here.
The galleries exhibit Italian Jewish art and heritage artifacts including including tapestries, chanukkiot, furniture, silver and art work.
Among them, the second oldest Torah ark in the whole world, the oldest Parochet in the world, and remnants of a synagogue built in the 15th century.
Temporary exhibits are also held at the museum.
In addition, the museum offers activities for children and adults, and holds a variety of cultural events, such as concerts, workshops and many more in the Fresco Hall.
Check out the Museum of Italian Jewish Art website for visiting hours.