Magazine

Apr 6, 2016

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice

Between 1516 and 1797 a gate in the doorway was closed overnight, shutting residents into the ghetto. The Jews of the world's first ghetto, marking its 500th anniversary, advise patience and integration to Europe as it struggles with the challenge of mass migration. In March 1516 the leader of the Venetian Republic and his senate decreed to confine the city's Jews on an island. Venice gave the world the word "ghetto", with its infamous connotations through the centuries.

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A mannequin of a Jewish money lender with his ledger books sits in a museum of what was once the 16th century Banco Rosso pawn shop in the world’s first ghetto in Venice northern Italy, March 22, 2016. The Jews of the world's first ghetto, marking its 500th anniversary, advise patience and integration to Europe as it struggles with the challenge of mass migration. In March 1516 the leader of the Venetian Republic and his senate decreed to confine the city's Jews on an island. Venice gave the world the word "ghetto", with its infamous connotations through the centuries. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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Two Jewish boys play in a sottoportego or covered passage in the Venice ghetto by a doorway, northern Italy, March 21, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A bridge that once separated the Venice ghetto (L) from Catholic Venice (R) is seen as a boat passes northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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Yehudah Nujon Leib, an employee of an art gallery in the ghetto in Venice, places works on shelves, northern Italy, March 21, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A general view of the “campo,” or square at the center of the world’s first ghetto in Venice, northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A depiction of the tables of the law in the Levantine synagogue is pictured in the Venice ghetto, the oldest in the world, which is making its 500the anniversary ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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Rabbi Scialom Bahbout, spiritual leader of Venice’s Jewish community, prays in the Levantine synagogue in the Venice ghetto, northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A Jewish boy stands in an archway in the ghetto of Venice, northern Italy, March 21, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A worker at a kosher bakery places sweets in the window of a shop in the ghetto in Venice, northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A Jewish man fixes a flat tyre for children in front of a storefront Yeshiva, or Jewish school, in the main square of the world’s first ghetto in Venice, northern Italy, March 21, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A Jewish man leans against a wall in the Venice ghetto, northern Italy, March 21, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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Jewish tourists stroll over one of the bridges that delineate the borders of the ghetto of Venice northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A Hebrew manuscript from the 15th century, with parts blacked out and censored by the Roman Catholic Church, is seen in the Jewish Library of the Venice ghetto, northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A police security kiosk stands to the left of a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in the campo or square, at the centre of the world’s first ghetto, in Venice northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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The ceiling of the Levantine synagogue is pictured in the Venice ghetto, the oldest in the world, which is making its 500the anniversary ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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A stone offertory box for the poor is seen in the Levantine synagogue in Venice, part of the world's first ghetto, which is making its 500the anniversary this year ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

The First Ghetto On Earth Was In Venice
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Professor Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, director of the Jewish Library in the Venice ghetto, looks at manuscripts about Jewish history in the library's vaults, northern Italy, March 22, 2016. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI/REUTERS

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