Ancient Jewish cemetery of Conegliano

Ancient Jewish cemetery of Conegliano

Ancient Jewish cemetery of Conegliano
For requests for visits or appointments, they can be made at the Iat di Conegliano in Palazzo Sarcinelli.

The ancient Jewish cemetery of Conegliano was built on the hill called “Cabalan” in 1545 and was used until 1886.
Following the abandonment of the place and consequent deterioration of the tombstones, in more recent times the cemetery was recovered by the Coneglianese Center of History and Archeology on commission from the Jewish Community of Venice. Thus it was that about 130 tombstones were found, many of them facing east, in the direction of Jerusalem. There are numerous epigraphs in ancient Hebrew that report passages from the Bible. Families used to distinguish themselves on the basis of coats of arms carved into the tombstones: the squirrel refers to the Conegliano family, which had Emanuele Conegliano among its illustrious descendants, better known as Lorenzo da Ponte, writer and librettist of Mozart.

The guided tour

When you reach the top of the hill, you can see the oldest burials on the left side. Among the gravestones that deserve more attention is that of Marina Conian, who reports as an epigraph a poem – and something unusual – in Italian spoken at the time.

What remains of the Conegliano ghetto

No remains of the ghetto structure have survived to this day, if not a commemorative plaque inaugurated in 1997 in the presence of Rabbi Elio Toaff. However in Jerusalem it is possible to visit the synagogue of Conegliano, faithfully rebuilt in 1954 with its ornaments, and still in operation as an Italian rite synagogue.

Guided tours by the Coneglianese Center of History and Archeology.

For requests for visits or appointments, contact the Iat of Conegliano of Palazzo Sarcinelli

telephone 043821230 –

The Jewish presence in Conegliano

The presence of the Jewish community in the city dates back to the end of the 14th century, when it became necessary to establish, also in Conegliano, a Jewish-managed loan bank (1380), at the interest rate regularly established by the authorities.
Initially they lived outside the city walls, then, in 1629, in accordance with the laws of Venice, the Jews were forced to meet and live in the Siletto district (now via Beato Ongaro) in the inner part of Porta Monticano. A few years later, in 1675, a new provision forced them to take up residence in the Ruio district (now via Caronelli), a street outside the city walls. In the ghetto there was a synagogue, completed in 1701, a Talmudic school, where future rabbis were educated, and the houses of about 14 families with their shops: strazer (ragman), dolzer (pastry chef) and becher (butcher), are some of the permitted activities. From the 1600s on, Jews were allowed to engage in more profitable activities such as silk weaving and fabric production, and finally participate in the administration of the city. In 1800 they were free to leave the old ghetto and in 1870 Marco Grassini was elected the first mayor of Conegliano after the unification of Italy. Meanwhile the Jewish community had begun to move elsewhere towards Venice and Padua.
For the inhabitants of Conegliano, the Jews constituted a precious collaboration, as well as an element of cultural richness, for over 600 years.

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