Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Italian Jews (Bene Roma)
(597 words)

Italian Jews, primarily from the cities of Genoa and Venice, began to immigrate to the Byzantine Empire during the Middle Ages. Most of them settled in the western parts of the empire (Rumelia) and established congregations next to already existing Romaniot ones. The expulsion of Jews from Italian cities in the sixteenth century prompted hundreds of families to move to the Ottoman Empire. Most of the new arrivals in the Ottoman lands, descended from Jews who had been living in Italy for centuries, continued to follow Italian customs (Bene Roma), but some were Sephardi (Spanish and P…

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Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, “Italian Jews (Bene Roma)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 08 December 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0011790>
First published online: 2010

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