VICENZA, city in N. Italy. In the second half of the 14th century the commune of Vicenza invited a group of Jews to establish a loan-bank there. They were followed by other Jewish bankers, among them the Musetto family (1425), forming a small Jewish settlement whose members engaged in commerce in addition to moneylending. In 1453 there was an unsuccessful attempt to expel the Jews. The rumor that the Jews of *Bassano had in 1485 murdered a child for ritual purposes (see Blood *libel) and the public sermons of the fanatical Bernardino da *Feltre (who also initiated the establishment of a Monte di *Pieta at Vicenza) provided the climate for a ducal decree, issued in April 1486 and implemented in June, expelling the Jews from the city and its environs.
Milano, Bibliotheca, nos. 253 m, 1418s; Milano, Italia, 140, 209; Roth, Italy, 162, 169, 173; D. Carpi, in: Archivio Veneto, 68 (1961), 17ff.; idem, in: I. Klausner et al. (eds.) Sefer ha-Yovel… N.M. Gelber (1963), 199–203; G. Volli, in: RMI, 34 (1968), 513–26, 564–9.
[Alfredo Mordechai Rabello]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.