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Inscriptions in the old Jewish cemetery in Venice
Pacifici, R.: Le iscrizioni dell antico cimitero ebraico a Venezia
Alexandria, 1938. (Italian)
Compiled by Mathilde Tagger

Until the 14th century, Jews were allowed to enter into Venice for money-lending activities, but were not allowed permanent resident permits. It was only in 1385 that Jews were allowed to settle in Venice at a time when the city was involved in a war and needed loans from the Jewish money-lenders.

In 1516 Venice's rulers decided the Jews were to live confined in one location. This is how the notion of Ghetto was introduced into the life of Venetian Jews, a notion that later spread throughout Europe.

The Jewish population of Venice increased with Ashkenazi Jews coming from Bavaria (now southern German) and Jews expelled from Spain. Venetian Jews continued to live in the Ghetto till 1797 when Napoleon conquered the city and grant the Jews equal civil rights.

Born in 1904, Riccardo Pacifici- a descendant of an old Sephardic family settled in Toscana, Italy, was a scholar as well as a rabbi (Florence Rabbinical Seminar). He was a rabbi in several places in Italy. In 1943 he was deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered.

Pacifi's book opens with a historical oversight of the history of Jewish Venice at the end of which he added a detailed bibliography. The present index includes 297 tombstone inscriptions covering the years 1470-1752, while one inscription is from 1837. 3 graves date from the 15th century, 20 from the 16th, 183 from the 17th and 67 from the 18th.

All the inscriptions include a full name except ten with only given names and another six that are anonymous.

The number of each grave was given for each grave and these have been added here.

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