Jewish Museum of Rome

Rome, Italy

The Jewish Museum of Rome is situated in the basement of the Great Synagogue of Rome and offers both information on the Jewish presence in Rome since the second century BCE and a large collection of works of art produced by the Jewish community.

Following the unification of Italy in 1870, the Jews were granted citizenship of Italy. As a result of agreement between the Jewish Community and the city authorities the Roman Ghetto was demolished towards the end of the 19th Century. The building that housed the Ghetto synagogue which, in fact, contained five synagogues representing different traditions, was torn down in 1908 but its fixed furnishings including holy arches and thrones were saved. Also, in 1875, the city embarked on an ambitious programme to build up embankments along the River Tiber to provide protection from flooding, including of the area formerly occupied by the Ghetto. The Great Synagogue was constructed in the former Ghetto area, close to the river, and was completed in 1904.

The museum was established in 1960. It was initially set up in a room behind the Torah ark of the Great Synagogue. In 1980 the staircase leading to the museum was decorated with stained glass by the artist Eva Fischer. To permit expansion the museum was moved to the basement of the Great Synagogue next to the Spanish Synagogue and officially opened in 2005. This meant replacing other facilities, such as a gym, a theatre and meeting rooms.

The art collection in the museum has largely been donated by members of the Community. It reflects the long history of Jews in Rome and, in particular, the Ghetto period (1555–1870) when all Jews from Rome and surrounding areas were forced to live in a small area. The collection includes around 900 liturgical and ceremonial textiles, illuminated parchments, around 100 marble pieces and about 400 pieces of silverwork. Also displayed are some of the many documents held in the Community’s archives.

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Details

Founded: 1960
Category: Museums in Italy

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stephen Harrison (12 months ago)
Really ethereal place to visit, full of history and atmosphere, well worth the price of admission
Hilary Silvert Newell (12 months ago)
Amazing. Historic. Sad. Museo Historico Ebraico Is full of amazing artifacts and educated me on a part of Jewish history of which I was previously only vauguely aware.
Beatriz Hernández (2 years ago)
Wonderful museum, the price includes a guided visit to the synagogue. Highly recommended
Avi Schwartz (2 years ago)
Very interesting museum which contains items that were hidden by the Jewish community from the Nazis as well as religious items that were once in the 5 synagogues that were demolished. The great synagogue of Rome is above the museum and is a beautiful building with as rich a history as the community itself.
Ioana M (2 years ago)
Amazing roman gem. One of the less obvious touristic destination but indeed fascinating and insightful. Amazing displays and interactive delivery of information
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