Jews of Venice’s Ghetto

Confined to a tiny island, Venice’s Jews put on magnificent Purim shows for the whole city.

On March 29, 1516, the Government of the city-state of Venice issued a new decree: henceforth all Jews must be confined to a small, polluted island within the city. The foul-smelling island was the former site of Venice’s foundries, or “ghettos”. The island was known as the Ghetto, and gave us this word’s meaning.

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