Great Synagogue of Rome

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Template:Infobox religious building The Great Synagogue of Rome (Template:Lang-it) is the largest synagogue in Rome and one of the greatest in Europe.

History

The Jewish community of Rome goes back to the 2nd century B.C when the Roman Empire had an alliance of sorts with Judea under the leadership of Judah Maccabeus. At that time, many Jews came to Rome from Judea. Their numbers increased during the following centuries due to the settlement that came with Mediterranean trade. Then large numbers of Jews were brought to Rome as slaves following the Jewish–Roman wars in Judea from 63 to 135 CE<ref name="Temple">Template:Cite web</ref>

The present Synagogue was constructed shortly after the unification of Italy in 1870, when the Kingdom of Italy captured Rome and the Papal States ceased to exist. The Roman Ghetto was demolished and the Jews were granted citizenship. The building which had previously housed the ghetto synagogue (a complicated structure housing five scolas in a single building) was demolished, and the Jewish community began making plans for a new and impressive building.<ref name="Sacred">Template:Cite web</ref>

Commemorative plates have been affixed to honour the local Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and of a Palestine Liberation Organization attack in 1982.

On 13 April 1986, Pope John Paul II made an unexpected visit to the Great Synagogue. This event marked the first known visit by a pope to a synagogue since the early history of the Roman Catholic Church. He prayed with Rabbi Elio Toaff, the former Chief Rabbi of Rome.<ref name="Sacred"/><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> This was seen by manyTemplate:Who as an attempt to improve relations between Catholicism and Judaism and a part of Pope John Paul II's programme to improve relations with Jews. In 2010 Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni hosted a visit from Pope Benedict XVI.

The synagogue celebrated its centenary in 2004. In addition to serving as a house of worship, it is also serves a cultural and organizational centre for la Comunità Ebraica di Roma (the Jewish community of Rome). It houses the offices of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, as well as the Jewish Museum of Rome.<ref name="Sacred"/>

On 17 January 2005, thirteen cantors, in conjunction with the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America (the Chazzanim Farband), performed in a cantorial concert for the first time in the synagogue's history.

1982 Great Synagogue of Rome attack

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Design

Designed by Vincenzo Costa and Osvaldo Armanni, the synagogue was built from 1901 to 1904 on the banks of the Tiber, overlooking the former ghetto. The eclectic style of the building makes it stand out, even in a city known for notable buildings and structures.<ref name="Sacred"/> This attention-grabbing design was a deliberate choice made by the community at the time who wanted the building to be a visible celebration of their freedom and to be seen from many vantage points in the city. The aluminium dome is the only squared dome in the city and makes the building easily identifiable even from a distance.

Gallery

References

Notes

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External links

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