TURIN, ITALY — During the half holidays of Pesach, the President of the AEPJ, François Moyse paid a visit to Turin, Italy, at the warm invitation of AEPJ board member Claudia De Benedetti. Joined by AEPJ long-standing board member Annie Sacerdoti, they visited a few of the magnificent synagogues of the Italian region of Piedmont.
Since the beginning of the European Days of Jewish Heritage roughly 20 years ago, Piedmont has participated in the yearly practice of opening up the synagogues to the public.
For each synagogue visited, a person responsible for the building gave the group a tour and gave the necessary explanations on the synagogue and history of the Jewish community.
On the first day, the group was welcomed by several persons active in the Casale Monferrato synagogue. A tour of the synagogue was followed by a kosher lunch and a visit of the exhibition of chandeliers (Chanukiot) of the Jewish museum. The second stop was in Biella, in which the group visited a small synagogue hidden in the back of a building.
On day 2, a visit was paid to the grand Turin synagogue, an impressive building which also hosts a small synagogue in the basement, where a beautiful bima or teva, the table for the reading of the Torah, stands. The next stop of the trip occurred at the synagogue of Mondovi, followed by that of Saluzzo, which has a beautifully painted ceiling, and finally, the synagogue of Carmagnola was visited.
Each of the synagogues was a marvelous discovery for AEPJ President François Moyse, who expressed that “the artistic beauty of these synagogues is astounding. As the few selected photos show, each and every synagogue located across different towns of the region is worth visiting.”
A big thank you to Claudia De Benedetti for hosting the visitors and enabling the discovery of a very rich Jewish heritage!