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  • Ex-Italian soccer player suspended from TV job repudiates anti-Semitism, racism

    ROME (JTA) — A former Italian soccer player who was suspended as a TV commentator after displaying on air a pro-fascist tattoo says he repudiates “anti-Semitic, racist, discriminatory, and violent” views. Paolo Di Canio made his statement in a letter to Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI,…

  • Israeli lawmaker says Italy quake divine retribution for UNESCO vote, sparks outcry

    ROME (JTA) – An Israeli lawmaker’s suggestion that a pair of earthquakes in Italy were divine retribution for Italy’s abstention from the recent UNESCO vote ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount has sparked an international outcry. Likud Knesset member Ayoub Kara was widely criticized in Italy and Israel for his comments made Wednesday just ahead…

  • After 50 years, Judaica damaged in Florence flood restored, exhibited

    FLORENCE, ITALY (JTA) – A major exhibition opening this week showcases hundreds of items of Jewish cultural heritage that were salvaged from the devastating 1966 Florence flood and restored to their original condition. The exhibit, “And the Waters Receded,” opens Thursday at Florence’s National Library. It displays hundreds of rare Jewish books, documents, archives and Judaica items,…

  • Jewish leaders lambaste Italian government for abstaining on UNESCO vote

    ROME (JTA) – Italian Jewish leaders slammed the controversial UNESCO resolution that makes no mention of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and sharply criticized the Italian government for having abstained on the vote. In a statement widely publicized by the Italian media, Noemi Di Segni, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish…

  • Actor Roberto Benigni to accompany Italian PM to Washington

    (JTA) – Roberto Benigni, the non-Jewish Italian actor who won Academy Awards for his Holocaust film “Life Is Beautiful,” will be part of the delegation accompanying Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to Washington. Benign, according to Italian media, will attend a dinner at the White House for the delegation, hosted by President Obama, on Tuesday, following…

  • It’s a girl! Rome synagogue security police help deliver a baby on Yom Kippur eve

    (JTA) – Two anti-terrorism military police helped a woman give birth to a baby girl on the street outside a Rome synagogue on Yom Kippur eve. Rome news reports said the birth occurred at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the so-called Synagogue of Youth, a small synagogue located within the complex of the Ospedale Israelitico Jewish…

  • Italy’s national soccer team fined about $31,000 for anti-Semitic fan behavior

    (JTA) – The international soccer governing body FIFA slapped a more than $30,000 fine on Italy’s national soccer team for the anti-Semitic behavior of some of its fans at a match in Haifa. FIFA fined the Italian team 30,000 Swiss francs, or about $31,000, for the “improper and discriminatory” behavior of team Italy fans who gave the…

  • Writer Elena Ferrante is daughter of Holocaust survivor, says journalist

    (JTA) – The mysterious best-selling Italian author who writes under the pen name Elena Ferrante has been identified as the daughter of a German-born Holocaust survivor who lost dozens of family members in the Shoah. Italian investigative journalist Claudio Gatti in an article published simultaneously on Sunday in the New York Review of Books, the…

  • Pope, in meeting with Jewish leaders, calls for integration of migrants

    ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis told a World Jewish Congress delegation that migrants have enriched Europe and need to be integrated into society. “Europe often forgets that it has been enriched by migrants,” the pope told the Jewish leaders at an audience Monday evening at the Vatican that was described as taking place in an…

  • Pope joins rabbis, scholars at interreligious confab in Italy

    ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis participated in the concluding events of a three-day interreligious conference in Italy that drew more than 450 Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other religious leaders from around the world. The pope flew by helicopter to Assisi, in central Italy, on Tuesday for the final day of “Thirst for Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue,”…