Photo courtesy of Dr. Randi Ross.

Italian Jews and World War II

Sunday, October 29, 2017 • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Add to Calendar10/29/2017 01:00 PM10/29/2017 04:00 PMAmerica/New_YorkItalian Jews and World War II: The Amazing Story of how Southern Italians helped Jews during the HolocaustJoin the Italian American Program and the Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives for two programs that take a look at the relationships between the Italian and Jewish communities.Heinz History CenterHeinz History CenterfalseMM/DD/YYYY

Italian Jews and World War II: The Amazing Story of how Southern Italians helped Jews during the Holocaust

As the Nazi Holocaust took the lives of six million Jews across Europe, a different story played out in Italy. According to most estimates, around 80% of Italy’s Jews survived the war. What accounts for the Jewish survival rate in Fascist Italy?

In her lecture, Rabbi Barbara Aiello discusses the experience of Italian Jews during World War II, focusing on the southern region of Calabria, where she serves as Rabbi of Congregation Ner Tamid del Sud. Calabria was home to Italy’s largest concentration camp, Ferramonti, where 4,000 Jews were interned. Extraordinarily, only four Jews perished in Ferramonti, killed in an Allied bombing raid. Rabbi Barbara will share stories of the Calabrian villagers and other Italians who protected their Jewish neighbors at great personal risk.


Admission to this program is $20 for general admission and is free for History Center members. University of Pittsburgh students receive free admission with their Pitt student ID.

If you are attending both the Saturday program and the accompanying Saturday The Story of the Hidden Jews of Southern Italy program, admission is $25.

Please register online.

Register now

Program Sponsors

Italian American Program

Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives

Roots in the Boot

The University of Pittsburgh Jewish Studies Program, with support from the Giant Eagle Foundation Endowment for Community Outreach

For more information, please contact David Schlitt at or 412-454-6402.

About Rabbi Barbara Aiello

Rabbi Barbara Aiello, the first woman rabbi in Italy, begins her 11th year as Italy’s only modern, liberal rabbi. She continues to serve Jews throughout Europe as a spokesperson for Pluralistic Judaism, a movement that deliberately blurs denominational lines and extends the hand of Jewish welcome to Jews of all backgrounds.

Rabbi Barbara Aiello was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and is the daughter of a liberator of the Buchenwald concentration camp. She is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She holds a MS from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and received “smeicha” (rabbinic ordination) from The Rabbinical Seminary International and the Rabbinical Academy in New York City. Learn more about Rabbi Barbara at her website.