The Jewish Museum of Venice is not simply an expository space, but a widespread museum, i.e. an urbanity, architectonic and museale complex unique of its kind for its own specificity.


The Jewish Museum of Venice is situated in the Campo of the Ghetto Novo, between the two most ancient Venetian synagogues. It is a little but very rich museum founded in 1953 by the Jewish Community of Venice.

The precious objects shown to public, important examples of goldsmith and textile manufacture made between the 16th and the 19th centuries are a lively witnessing of the Jewish tradition. The museum furthermore offers a wide selection of ancient books and manuscripts and some objects used in the most important moments of the cycle of civil and religious life.

The museum is built in two areas, the first one devoted to the cycle of Jewish festivities and to objects used for liturgy, the latter- planned with a greater educational approach- deals with the history of Venetian Jews through images and objects.

The first room of the museum is dedicated to the cycle of the most important Jewish festivities with many ritual objects. You will find shown, among others, shofar, Channukkioth chandeliers, one Meghillat Ester, one Menora, and a wonderful plate for Seder, the first dinner of Pesach. In the first room of the museum, we can also find many examples of crowns and spires, little hands to help the reading of the Holy Scroll, ancient keys to open the ark containing the Scroll and other jugs and handbasins used by priests and examples of prayer bookbinding.

The second room of the museum is dedicated to a rich collection of precious  textile manufacture, some of them still in use for the cult. Different mantles for the Torah (Me‘ìlìm) precious coverings used to decorate the Torah (mappòth), curtains to cover the doors of ‘Aron Ha Kodesh (parokhòth). The most precious example of Parokhet, under restoration at present, was manufactured in Venice by Stella di Isacco from Perugia in the first half of 17th century.

A section of the museum, as conceived by Umberto Fortis, scientific director of the Jewish Museum, wants to accompany you through an artistic and cultural course allowing to understand the fundamental stages that Jews passed though in their Venetian stay.
The explanatory panels show the immigration of the various Jewish ethnic groups to Venice and introduce the topic of usury, not to be ignored  to understand the rise of ancient, and unfortunately still persisting prejudices towards Jews.

The new permanent exhibition area shows thus  the various ethnic groups or nationi (Nations) as they were called long time ago, reminding their habits and showing a selection of documents and liturgical objects.

Even in the small room available a section about the cultural life in the Venetian ghetto and devoted to its most renowned exponents as, rav Leon Modena and the poet Sara Copio Sullam , just to quote the two major ones,  could not be missed.

A section of the historical section is devoted to Venetian Jewish book trade, renowned all over the world for its valuable editions. This section is made precious by the presence of ancient volumes already kept in the Library-Archive “Renato Maestro”.

This section ended with a big picture to accompany you at the end of Secondi World War, the end of shoah and the beginnig of a new life with the opening of the synagogues the 3 May 1945.