any potential visitor a Synagogue must
like it’s from a world of its own. However the Jewish temples have
always been in the heart of many cities of the Marche and are filled with
a rich culture and ancient traditions. Many Jewish communities settled in
the Marche region, including the “aschenaziti” Jews (the Germanic
branch), “levantini” (coming from the East) and “sefarditi”
(Spanish), in an attempt to escape the various forms of persecution that
has plagued their sad history over the centuries. Today, there are various
Synagogues still operating and used for study and prayer. The praying
space within a Synagogue is usually divided into two beautifully decorated
areas, the “Aròn-it has-qòdesh” and the “bimà”.
The “Aròn-it has-qòdesh” is the area that faces the east and
preserves the “Aròn” (sacred cupboard) where the “Sifrè Torà”
or Coils of the Law are kept. The “bimà” on the other hand is set on
a slightly higher level and usually faces the west. It is where the singer
stands on the “tevà” (podium) and directs the prayers and reads from
the Bible. The Synagogue also contains a “miqwè (the ritual bath) and
Sukkah (ceremonial hut).
sumptuous and neo-classic Synagogue of Urbino stands at the corner of
“via Scalette del Teatro” and “via Stretta”, close to the Palazzo
Ducale. This ancient temple still has its wide windows and elegant 13th
century loggia although is no longer used for religious purposes. It is
however thought to be the place where the most ancient “aròn” in the
world was conserved (the “aròn” is now on exhibition at the Jewish
Museum of New York).
Synagogue of Pesaro (Via delle Scuole, 25) astonishes most visitors due to
the magnificence and opulence of its internal decorations that are
representative of a community once numerous and wealthy.
The remains of the people who use to gather there and pray are
buried in the “Beth has-chajìm” (house of life or house of the
livings) cemetery, on the Saint Bartolo Hill.
Jewish community of Senigallia was renowned for being powerful and
dynamic. Today it is made up from a few local families and is also
affiliated to the Ancona community. During the most important festivities it is still common
practice to meet in the recently restored Synagogue of via Commercianti.
Nearby in Piazza Simoncelli it is possible to see an inscription written
in memory of the old ghetto, while in the place where ancient graves used
to be there is a public garden dedicated to Anna Frank.
“the City of Merchants”, accommodated a large number of native Jews
although today the ancient streets of the ghetto no longer exist. However
the 19th century Synagogue “levantina” is still open to the
reading of the “Sifrè Torà”. In fact, in the lower floor there is an
Italian ritual Synagogue, and its “aròn” is placed exactly under the
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