Greetings from Rav Amadeo Spagnoletto, Chief Rabbi of Florence

In this and future issues, we hope to include a greeting from one of the S&P communities. This issue's greeting comes from Florence. The Jewish community of Florence is growing! A lot of activities took place last month and others are planned in preparation of Pesach. On Purim, a Big party with over 250 people was held at the Four Seasons Hotel with the participation of members of the Jewish Community of Florence and Siena, as well as members of the Rome Community, with an extraordinary number of people dancing past midnight! No-one remembers such a fun and great event in the Community in the recent past. Last week on the initiative of Florence ADEI WIZO, there was an evening on the “funny face of the Talmud”, celebrating the publishing of the Tractate Berachot of the Talmud translated and commentated in Italian. Four students representing various circles of Talmud studies in town spoke. Benjamin Stein, author of “The Canvas,” led the first meeting of the Balagan Brunch, a seasonal Jewish literature festival, which was a sold-out event. Other meetings are scheduled for the upcoming months. The Talmud Torà is strongly involved these weeks in teaching the Haggadah sections to each student in view of the second night Seder organized in the Community Center, that will be led for the first time by the children and teens of the TT. The Sunday before the Chag all of them are called to join the Shimmurim Baking as well for the first time in Florence. A public Seder will be take place the first night in the Community Center, conducted by Rabbi Amedeo Spagnoletto, which is usually attended by dozens of tourists who spend Pesach in Florence. The next couple of weeks will be frenetic, with several women gathering in the Community kitchens to bake traditional Pesach cookies containing flour, eggs, sugar, oil and almond powder, under the rigorous control of the local rabbinical authorities.

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