Friday, August 18, 2017 /
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From Napoleon to the Italian unification

From Napoleon to the Italian unification

The arrival of Napoleon's troops and the demolition of the ghetto gateways in July 1797 marked the end of segregation. Even with the arrival of the Austrians after the treaty of Campo Formio the Jews were no longer obliged to live within an enclosed area of the city: they were permitted to own land, practise the liberal professions, join the army, attend public schools, work as state employees and belong to cultural institutions.

The age of emancipation saw the Jews playing a leading part in the Risorgimento. The community supplied not only considerable financial backing but also some of the government ministers for Daniele Manin's Repubblica Veneta - men like Isacco Pesaro, Jacopo Treves and Leone Pincherle. The spiritual leader of the Venice community, Rabbi Lattes, actually exhorted Jews to join the Guardia Civica.

After the Veneto had been annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 the story of the Jews in the city was similar to that of communities throughout the country. By the end of the 19th century many families were living outside the ghetto, which had, however, remained the centre of the community's life (there were a kindergarten, a school, a Cuore e Concordia club, an old people's home and a bakery for unleavened bread)

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