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ASOLO:

Town in the province of Treviso, Italy. A Jewish congregation existed there in the middle of the sixteenth century, perhaps even at the end of the fifteenth. In 1547 there were in Asolo 37 Jews, who lived in six houses close together in the center of the town. In the house of one Marco Koen a room, furnished with some scrolls of the Law, was devoted to religious meetings. Of the 37 Jews in question, 14 had attained their religious majority (see Bar Miẓwah); and as there were also several Cohanim. (see Cohen), the divine services of this small congregation were as well arranged as they could be. The Asolo Jews possessed a cemetery, of which only two tombstones remain now preserved in the public gallery. There were at least four Jewish pawnbrokers: Anselmo, Marco, Jacob, and Moise.

On Nov. 22, 1547, while Francesco Nani was mayor of Asolo, and Renier of Treviso was governor of the surrounding district, 30 men, armed with cudgels, axes, clubs, and knives, and led by one Antonio Parisotto, attacked the Jews in broad daylight, killed 10 of them, wounded 8 others, and, having taken rich booty, fled in great haste. Five Jewish families were left entirely destitute. Some of the robbers were brought to justice, and were either put to death or exiled. Of the Jews who survived this attack some remained in Asolo, while others emigrated to safer places.

The Cantarini family, which gave to Italian Judaism many prominent rabbis and physicians, had its origin in Asolo.

Bibliography:
  • Marco Osimo, Narrazione della strage compita nel 1547 contro gli Ebrei d'Asolo e Cenni Biografici della Famiglia Koen-Cantarini originata da un ucciso Asolano, Casale-Monferrato, 1875.
D. F. S.
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