Delegation of Leghorn Jewry Received by Italian King
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Delegation of Leghorn Jewry Received by Italian King

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The King of Italy has received a delegation of Leghorn Jews, which included Chief Rabbi Alfredo Toaff and Carlo Bembaron, Chairman of the Leghorn Kehillah.

The King who conversed with them for a considerable time evinced a keen interest in the ancient community and in the Jewish population of Leghorn.

The Community of Leghorn, or Livorno, to give it its Italian name, traces back its history to the early sixteenth century. The influx of Spanish Maranos persecuted by Ferdinand II, and the trading developments, encouraged by the Medicis, contributed considerably to the growth of the community. At first the Leghorn community was merely a branch of the Community of Pisa, which was granted the privilege of establishing a synagogue and cemetery at Leghorn.

The Community has undergone many vicisitudes, and was for many years invested with autonomous powers, though its rights were gradually reduced and diminished, in 1808, when Tuscany was incorporated with France. Its rights were however restored to it in 1814, but were again abolished in 1861 on the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy.

In 1931, the introduction of the Italian Jewish Communities Law federated all the Jewish communities Law federated all the Jewish communities in Italy and its colonies into a Union of Italian Jewish Communities, thus fundamentally changing the position of the local communities, defining their rights and providing for a headquarters in Rome, governed by a Congress of Presidents of Communities.

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