The Most Tenacious of Minorities: The Jews of Italy

The Most Tenacious of Minorities: The Jews of Italy

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Sara Reguer

ISBN: 9781618112446 (hardcover), 9781644690307 (paperback)
Pages: 240 pp.
Publication Date: June 2013

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Arriving in ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago, the Jewish communities of Italy have retained their identity throughout the millennia. This book traces their recreation of community, focusing on their economic, intellectual, and social lives, as they moved from south to north. Over the centuries, the localized Italian groups were reinforced with the arrival of German, Provencal, Sephardic, and—most recently—Ashkenazi and Middle Eastern Jews. Surviving religious persecution, ghetto-ization, and the Holocaust, the Jews contributed to Italian society when they could. Supplemented by maps, illustrations, sidebars, and primary sources, the book is a scholarly yet popular overview of a minority group that is proudly Italian and equally proud to be Jewish.

Sara Reguer (PhD Columbia University) is chair of the Department of Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the co-editor and co-author of The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times (2003, with Reeva Simon and Michael Laskier).

Few Jewish communities in the Diaspora are as old as the one in Italy, and that’s one of the reasons Reguer’s account is well worth reading. She takes us on a journey, full of promise, peril and renewal, that begins during the Roman empire and ends in present-day Italy. It’s quite a trip.
— Sheldon Kirshner, The Times of Israel
A thoroughly researched and engagingly written presentation.
— Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Early Beginnings
Chapter 2: Roman Rule
Chapter 3: The Medieval South
Chapter 4: The Move North
Chapter 5: The Ghetto
Chapter 6: The Winds of Change
Chapter 7: World War II
Chapter 8: Contemporary Italy Focus Studies
Chapter 9: Reclaiming the Heroic Jewish Judith
Chapter 10: The Last Converso

Appendix: Maps