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Communal Council Discusses Jewish Education, Culture in Italy

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The Council of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, at a special three-day session here, has discussed the problems of Jewish education in Italy and the preservation of ancient Jewish historical and cultural treasures.

The members of the council spent a full day inspecting the five temples in the city which were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Only three of the synagogues are still in use. Council members inspected vaults in which priceless ritual silverware and other art objects are stored. The Nazis had catalogued the art treasures and were on the verge of shipping them to Germany when the war ended. The councillors expressed appreciation of the care which the 1,000 Jews of Venice had taken of the art objects and promised support for further restoration work.

Later, the council heard Eliezer Halevi of the Israel legation request that records of all Italian Jewish communities before 1850 be shipped to Israel where a special committee is preparing a history of the Jewish communities of the world. The council made no decision on the request, but promised to study it.

In the course of a lengthy discussion on Jewish schools, all members of the council agreed that well organized schools were the best means of fighting the threat of assimilation.

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