29 November 2006

Rome: Europe's oldest Jewish community

The Boston Globe has an interesting story on the Jews of Rome, whose presence (since the 2nd century BCE) is considered the oldest in Europe.

In the Middle Ages, they were victims of violence and humiliation (wearing of yellow patches), even though they were bankers, craftsmen, merchants, physicians and served the papal court.

There is also a gastronomic connection to Roman life in the community's famous fried artichokes.

For more than 300 years, Jews were locked behind the ghetto's gates. Today, the community leaders say they have a different problem: the remaining Jewish residents are being forced out due to gentrification of the suddenly fashionable area.

To read the article, click here

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