FANO, Italian family name, in use from about 1400. Noted are AVIGDOR FANO (second half of 15th century), poet. His short poem Ozer Nashim was composed in reply to Sone ha-Nashim, an attack on the feminine sex by Abraham of Sarteano; MENAHEM AZARIAH DA *FANO, rabbi and kabbalist; Ezra BEN ISAAC FANO (16th–17th centuries), scribe, rabbi, and kabbalist living in Venice and Mantua. The last copied and owned valuable Hebrew manuscripts, some of which he personally annotated and published. He probably visited Safed in the 1580s, and together with his friends and students R. Mordechai Dato and Menahem Azariah da Fano and his Safed teacher R. Israel Saruk helped disseminate the Safed Kabbalah in Italy. He also wrote works on Kabbalah; JACOB BEN JOAB ELIJAH DA FANO (16th century), scholar and poet in Cento, Ferrara, and Bologna. He composed an elegy on the Marrano martyrs of Ancona of 1555, which he published somewhat incongruously with a satire against women in his Shiltei ha-Gibborim (Ferrara, 1556). On papal instructions, the duke of Ferrara ordered the punishment of the author and burning of the volume, which is now very rare. Fano also wrote Petaḥh Tikvah on the Ten Commandments, being the first part of a work Zokher ha-Berit (unpublished); JOSEPH (Ippolito) DA FANO (c. 1550–1630), communal leader. A notable figure in the Jewish community, he was on familiar terms with the dukes of Mantua and of Ferrara and was sometimes employed by them as an intermediary. Some time before 1628, he is said to have been raised to the rank of Marquis of Villimpenta, in which case he was the first Jew to be ennobled in Europe. The facts, however, require further elucidation; ISAAC BERECHIAH BEN JUDAH ARYEH FANO (17th century), rabbi and kabbalist in Lugo. He composed liturgical poems and homilies.


Milano, Italia, index; Ghirondi-Neppi, index; Ravà, in: Educatore israelita, 22 (1874), 172–7; Kaufmann, in: REJ, 35 (1897), 84–90; 36 (1898), 108–11; Roth, in: JJS, 1 (1948/49), 144–6. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Benayahu, in: Soloveitchik Jubilee Volume (1984), 786–855.

[Attilio Milano /

Moti Benmelech (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.