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Protect and Persecute: A History of Jews and Catholics in Rome

Hosted By: American Jewish University

The Jewish community in Rome is the oldest continuously existing Jewish community in Europe, and their Catholic neighbors have played the role of saint and sinner throughout 2000 years of history. This paradoxical relationship is ruled by the powerful Catholic Church often persecuting the weaker Jewish community, yet also providing protection and support in times of need. Fredric Brandfon and AJU’s Jonathan Dobrer delve into the touchstones of Jewish history in Rome, including the Arch of Titus and the Jewish catacombs, painting a picture of a community that has remained Jewish over centuries. They will also explore the relationship between Jews and Catholics during medieval and Renaissance Rome, the Roman Ghetto, the horrors of fascism and the Nazi occupation, and the Second Vatican Council’s proclamation absolving Jews of murdering Christ.

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