CANTONI, LELIO (Hillel; 1802–1857), rabbi of Turin. Born at Gazzuolo, near Mantua, Cantoni became rabbi in 1832 and was chief rabbi of Turin from 1833. In 1845 he formed the Committee of the Jewish Communities of the Kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont; in this he obtained the support of Roberto and Massimo *d'Azeglio. After the Jews of Piedmont obtained emancipation in 1848, Cantoni published his proposals for the organization of the communities on the French *consistory model, with a central consistory at Turin and divisional consistories. The law ultimately promulgated by the minister of the interior Rattazzi (July 1857) differed, however, widely from Cantoni's project, constituting the authorized Jewish communities as autonomous corporations without central control.
Roth, Italy, 464, 494. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Milano, Storia degli ebrei in Italia (1963), 361, 470; A.M. Ghisalberti, "Massimo e Roberto d'Azeglio per l'emancipazione degli Israeliti in Piemonte," in: La Rassegna Mensile d'Israel 45:8–9 (1979), 294–98.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.