Rabbi Leone Leoni, Friend of Pope John, Dead in Italy at 67

Funeral services were held here today for Rabbi Leone Leoni, the former Chief Rabbi of Venice, who died this weekend at the age of 67.

Rabbi Leoni was appointed Venice’s Chief Rabbi in 1952, and served in that post until his retirement in 1962. Previously, he had served congregations in Ferrara, Italy, and, during the Nazi occupation of the area, was forced to go into hiding. While Chief Rabbi in Venice, Rabbi Leoni was friendly with the late Pope John XXIII, who was at that time the Catholic Patriarch of Venice.

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