ASTI, city in Piedmont, N.W. Italy. Jews are mentioned in Asti in a document of 812, but its authenticity is doubtful. In the 14th century a number of Jews expelled from France found refuge in Asti, then an important commercial center, and neighboring towns. They retained the French rite, specifically for the New Year and the Day of Atonement: the "Apam" (properly "Afam") rite (מנהג אפם), so called after the Hebrew initials of the three towns Asti, Fossano, and Moncalvo (see *Liturgy). Now long relinquished, the prayers have been preserved in many manuscripts. There was a *blood libel accusation in 1553. The Regie Costituzioni of 1723 and 1729 established separate quarters for the Jews in all the royal domains. The ghetto became compulsory in 1730. Napoleon's decrees of December 1798 and February 1799 abolished the ghetto. It is difficult to establish the number of the Jews in Asti before the census ordered by King Carlo Emanuele III in 1761; in that year there were 38 families, numbering 196 Jews. In 1774 the number of Jews rose to 400. There were anti-Jewish riots in Asti in 1803. The *Artom family derived from here. During the Nazi persecution 51 members of the community were killed. In 1970 about 20 Jews lived in Asti. At the turn of the 20th century Asti no longer had a functioning Jewish community and was under the jurisdiction of the community of Turin, as were all the other nonfunctioning communities of Piedmont (Alessandria, Carmagnola, Cherasco, Cuneo, Mondovì, Saluzzo, and Ivrea).
S. Foà, in: RMI, 27–28 (1961–62), passim; Goldschmidt, in: KS, 30 (1954/55), 118–36, 264–76; D. Disegni, in: Scritti… S. Mayer (1956), 78–81. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: P. De Benedetti, "Gli ebrei di Asti e il loro rito," in: Il Platano, 4 (1977), 17–28; idem, "Ancora sugli ebrei di Asti," in: Il Platano, 5 (1979), 43–46; L. Voghera Luzzatto, "Ebrei ad Asti," in: Il Torchio (1979–80), 6–9; idem, "Emancipazione ebraica ad Asti," in: Il Platano, 2 (1980), 92–102; R. Segre and M.L. Giribaldi Sardi, Il Ghetto, la Sinagoga. Viaggio attraverso la cultura ebraica di Asti (1992); M.L. Giribaldi Sardi, Scuola e vita nella comunità ebraica di Asti (1800–1930) (1993); E. Rossi Artom, Gli Artom – Storia di una famiglia della Comunità ebraica di Asti attraverso le sue generazioni (XVI–XX secolo) (1997); M.L. Giribaldi Sardi, Asti. Guida alla sinagoga, al museo e al cimitero ebraico (1999).
[Attilio Milano /
Manuela Consonni (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.