Florence’s Jewish, Muslim reps appeal for interfaith dialogue

Julie Wiener

(JTA) – Representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Florence, Italy, along with the city’s mayor, appealed for interfaith respect and dialogue at “this dramatic moment of Middle East conflict.”

The city’s chief rabbi, Joseph Levi, and Imam Izzedin Elzir met Tuesday with Mayor Dario Nardella, and the three issued a joint statement expressing their concern for “entire Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities” at risk today in the region.

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“We pray to the Lord of all humanity to guide the religious leaders of our communities in the service of all humanity, staving off any form of hatred for others who are different from ourselves, any temptation to evoke and again manipulate ancient forms of anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity and Islamophobia.”

Also in the Tuscany region, the Jewish Museum and Synagogue in the hill town of Pigitliano closed to the public Wednesday in memory of Simone Camilli, the Italian Associated Press video reporter killed in Gaza. Camilli was the son of Pitigliano’s mayor.

Public events in the town were canceled until further notice as part of public mourning.

Pitigliano was a thriving Jewish center before World War II, but only a few Jews now live there full time. The town produces kosher wine and its Jewish sites are major local tourist attractions.