Museum explores Jewish life and history in Italy

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Museum explores Jewish life and history in Italy

Former prison on the edge of the town of Ferrara's old Jewish ghetto has been turned into a museum exploring 2,000 years of the community's presence in the country

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Website of  Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara
Website of Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara

 In the converted remains of a former prison on the edge of the old Jewish ghetto, an extraordinary museum is making its mark and re-exploring 2,000 years of Jewish life in Italy.

The Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara, northern Italy, which opened in December 2017, has just unveiled its second major exhibit, on Jews and the Renaissance, entitled The Renaissance speaks Hebrew.

It follows its opening show, The First Thousand Years, which followed the long and complex relationship between Jews and Christianity.

Italian Jewry is one of the oldest communities in the western diaspora. Jews, even before the destruction of the Temple and their eventual transportation and imprisonment in Rome, had been working and trading in the city.

Today’s museum sits on the premises of a former prison that was once used to hold Jews during the Second World War. A new exhibit monitoring the experience of Jews in Italy during the Holocaust is set to open in September.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: