Rome (Mar. 22)
A new chief rabbi of Rome. to succeed Israel Zelli. Who became converted to Catholicism, will be chosen next week at the first meeting of the 15 members of the new Jewish Community Council, which was elected this week. it was announced here today.
The council, which was elected with the sanction of the Italian Government and the Allied Commission, will name one of its members president. Vitale Milano, a prominent member of the Rome Jewish Community, has been mentioned for the post.
Some 657 votes were cast in the elections for the council, representing about 25 percent of those cligible to vote. The small number of votes may be due to the fact that the dispute between Hugo Foa, former president of the community, and Silvio Ottolenghi, who was named to succeed him after the liberation of Rome, was not an issue, since neither of them were candidates. Both men had accused each other of having supported Fascism and their Jispute led to postporement of the elections, which had been scheduled for last November.
The Rome Jewish community occupies an autonomous status under a concordat signed between the Italian Government and the Vatican in 1933. The Jews are responsible for raising their own funds and for their own charitable and religious organizations. The same principle applies to Italian Protestants. Thus the president of the community has almost official authority over the Jews of Italy and is virtually a government official.