ROME (JTA) – Italy’s Jews mourned the death of former President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who had a close relationship to the Italian Jewish community.
Ciampi, who served as president from 1999 to 2006, died Friday at 95.
In a statement, the president of the umbrella Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Noemi Di Segni, expressed “the deepest condolences, both personally and in the name of all Italian Jews” at Ciampi’s death.
Throughout his life, he was “always close to the Jewish world,” Di Segni wrote, as witnessed by his lifelong friendship with the late Rabbi Elio Toaff, who served as Rome’s chief rabbi for half a century.
Ciampi, who also served as Italian prime minister and head of the country’s central bank, was a ”generous, just, and visionary man” committed to anti-fascism and fundamental democratic values, she wrote.
Daniel Nahum, the former vice president of the Milan Jewish community, also remembered Ciampi in a Facebook post.
”For me, he was the best President, the only true [Italian] statesman in the past 20 years,” Nahum wrote.