Jewish Life in Piedmont


                                                           August 29-September 6, 2022

                                             Led by Professor Shalom Sabar and Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller







Jews appeared in the duchy of Savoy as early as 1297, but the majority seems to have moved to Piedmont from France in the wake of the expulsion of 1394. Savoyard rule was then well established and provided for a stable and organized duchy which allowed for the spread and growth of Jewish settlements. The Dukes thought of the Jews as their “wards” and provided them with protection in exchange for taxation. The local population though initially hostile to the arrival of the Jews (and several violent incidents are chronicled) soon accepted them and Jews gained more prominence within the Savoyard state. Jews involved themselves mainly in money-lending and medicine. By 1465, the Jews of Piedmont had surpassed those of Savoy in both population numbers and wealth. After a temporary expulsion in the 1560s, between 1569 and 1570 the duke opened his doors to expellees from the Papal States and issued an exceptional privilege granting residence permits, trading and banking rights, and protection from inquisitorial proceedings for all Jews, including Spanish and Portuguese marranos.  His goal was to entice wealthy Jews from Spain and Portugal and Jewish merchants from Constantinople whose presence would create a trading hub there.

In Piedmont, various groups of Jews preserved traditions and liturgies from their places of origin. The extant synagogues are beautiful pieces of art, hardly known to the Jewish world. Piedmont’s cultural treasury and its attractive Judaic artifacts created locally, remain the most eloquent illustration of this small but important Jewish existence.


                                                                              Preliminary Itinerary


Mon             Arrive in Milan.  Transfer by bus to Turin, the cultural and commercial capital

Aug 29         of Piedmont. Late orientation followed by dinner in a vegan restaurant.                       TURIN                                                                                          

Tue               Lecture: The Defining Characteristics of Jewish Life in Medieval and Early Modern Italy, 

Aug 30         K.Aron- Beller

                     Lecture: The Jew as Other: The Changing Image of the Jews of Italy in the Mirror of the Visual Arts,

                     S. Sabar

                     City sightseeing in Turin, known for its dominant Baroque style.

                     Continue to the Piazza Castello to visit the Royal Palace, a World Heritage Site.

                     Visit the Royal Library.

                     Continue to the Egyptian Museum, one of the best museums of ancient Egyptian art.  TURIN      


 Wed             Lecture: Jewish Women and Religious Life in Medieval Piedmont, K.Aron-Beller

Aug 31          Lecture: Judith and Esther – The Heroines of Hanukkah and Purim in Italian Art and Tradition,

                      S. Sabar

                      Depart to Carmagnola to visit the restored synagogue of Baroque architecture.

                      View an exhibition of synagogues in Piedmont.

                      Continue to the village of Cherasco to visit the synagogue built in the ghetto period. 

                      Travel to Alba, located in the heart of the Langhe wine region and also known as the gourmet

                      capital of Piedmont.                                                                                                            TURIN


Thu               Lecture Jewish Professions: Money-lending, Banking and Medicine,  K.Aron-Beller

Sep 1             Lecture: Art and Imagination: The Torah Ark, Bimah and Wall Decorations of the Synagogues

                      in Piemonte, S. Sabar

                      Travel to Vercelli to visit the Jewish cemetery and tour the ghetto and the synagogue.                                                    Continue to Biella to visit the synagogue.                                                                         TURIN  


Fri                  Lecture: Piedmontese Ketubbah Decoration, S. Sabar

Sep 2            Visit the Turin Synagogue.

                      Visit the Terracini Archives, endowed with a substantial collection primarily related to the

                      history of the Piedmontese Jewish Community to view collection of old documents and


                      Visit the Mole Antonelliana, originally built to serve as a synagogue, as well as the

                      National Museum of Cinema, dedicated to the history of film.        

                      Erev Shabbat Services followed by Kosher Shabbat dinner.                                         TURIN                     


Sat                Shabbat Services.

Sep 3            Kosher Shabbat lunch                                                                                                       TURIN


Sun               Lecture: Ghettoization: The Italian Version, K.Aron-Beller  

Sep 4            Lecture: The Casale Pilgrim: The Image of the Holy Sites in the Art of Italian Jewry and its

                      Heritage in Eretz Israel, S. Sabar

                      Travel to Saluzzo to visit the synagogue with a beautiful ceiling fresco.

                      Continue to Cuneo which once housed one of the largest Jewish communities of Piedmont. 

                      Travel to Mondovi to visit the synagogue with a gilded ark featuring a sculpted menorah.                                                                                                                                                                                            TURIN


Mon               Lecture on the bus: The Coming of the Sephardi Traders and Marranos to Piedmont,  

Sep 5             K. Aron-Beller

                      Travel to to Casale Monferrato to visit the Jewish Museum which includes the lavishly

                       decorated synagogue originally built in 1595 but redesigned in rococo style. 

                       Continue to the Jewish quarter of Asti, one of the three communities founded by Jews expelled

                       from France in the 14th century, who carried on the French tradition.

                       Return to Turin for a farewell dinner in a vegan restaurant.                                         TURIN                    


Tue                 Early departure for Milan.

Sep 6              Lecture on the bus: Piedmont Jewry in the 20th Century, K. Aron-Beller

                        Visit the typical post emancipation synagogue. 

                        Visit the Last Supper (if tickets will be available)

                        Lunch in a kosher restaurant.

                        Visit the Brera Gallery with wonderful works of Italian artists from the 20th century.

                        Transfer to the airport for a late departure.


                                                                PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE


Prof. Shalom Sabar (Emeritus), Dept. of Folklore/Dept. of Art History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller, Lecturer in Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University

Price for land arrangements only:  Euro 3595 per person in a double room

                         ***EARLY REGISTRATION UNTIL MAY 31st: Euro 3545 per person in a double room***                                                                                                    

Single supplement (Double room for Single Occupancy): Euro 660

                                                                 Price is based on minimum participants


Price for airfare from Israel (Tel Aviv- Milan-Tel Aviv) USD 489 + 70 airport taxes

(Based on airfares in effect at time of publication and subject to change)

People joining us from abroad should meet us in the hotel in Turin or at the Milan (Malpensa) airport at the arrival of the El Al flight from Israel.


Deposit:  Euro 850 with registration, of which 350 is non-refundable.

Remainder of payment is to be paid by June 26, 2022.   Please register promptly as our trips fill quickly.                                                


Via Paolo Sacchi 8

Tel: +39.011.0825321

4 stars, A/C, wifi, minibar, coffee machine, hairdryer, spa

Cancellation fees:     

                    June 1-June 30, 2022…… .……....................25%

                    Jul 1-Aug 13, 2022……...….…..…..……….50%

                    Aug 14, 2022 -Departure.……….......…..…100%                


Trip includes:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  •   Lectures by Prof. Shalom Sabar &

           Dr. Kathy Aron-Beller

  •   JHS Tour escort                                                                                                                                    

  •   Local English speaking tour guides                          

  •   8 nights accommodation in a 4 star hotel

        hotel with daily buffet breakfasts.

  •   Meals according to the itinerary                               

  •   Local transport by bus

  •   Entrance fees according to itinerary      


Not included in the price:                                     

  • Obligatory health and cancellation                      

   travel insurance  (which also covers Covid)                                                   

  • Tips Euro 90                                         


Program subject to change:  All rights are reserved by Jewish Historical Seminars to make

staff substitutions if necessary and/or make changes to the program and conditions as

required by force majeure, including cancellation of the trip at any time due to drastic

changes in the situation. Participants are reminded that weather conditions cannot be

predicted and cancellations or changes to visits may be unavoidable.

Each participant needs to be vaccinated against COVID.


Further information: Contact Debbie:Tel: 972.2.534.5191, Cell: +972.54.2212503  Fax: 972.2.5700005


                                          The trip is run in conjunction with Ayala Tours, Jerusalem,