Cesare Colafemmina, Italian Jewry Expert, Dies

Pioneer in Study of Jews in Southern Italy

By JTA

Published September 13, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Italian scholar Cesare Colafemmina, an internationally known pioneer in the study of Jewish history and culture in southern Italy, has died.

Colafemmina died Wednesday after a long illness at the age of 79.

A university professor, archeologist and specialist in Jewish inscriptions and ancient history, Colafemmina wrote and researched extensively on the Jewish presence in Calabria, Apulia and elsewhere in southern Italy, from ancient times until the present, focusing largely on the period before and after the Jews’ expulsion from the region in the 15th and 16th centuries.

He was instrumental in discovering and deciphering inscriptions found in the ancient Jewish catacombs at Venosa in Potenza province.

In recent years, Colafemmina oversaw the installation of a Jewish museum, a section of the local Diocesan Museum, in one of the two 13th century synagogues that remain standing in the town of Trani, in Apulia.

He was on the executive committee of the Italian Association for Jewish Studies, and the Cesare Colafemmina Center for the Research and Documentation of Judaism in the Mediterranean Region was recently founded in his honor.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.