IMOLA, town near Bologna, central Italy. Little reliance can be placed on the report that Jews settled in Imola in 640 but were expelled in 976. Jews are known positively to have lived there only in the 14th century, and around 1495 the Ibn *Yaḥya family settled in Imola after they left Spain. In 1555 the Jews were confined to a ghetto; on this occasion the chronicler Gedaliah ibn Yaḥya reports that his business worth 10,000 scudi was ruined. When the Jews were expelled from the Papal States for a second time, in 1593, the community ceased to exist. From the 17th until 19th century there is evidence that Jews sporadically lived for some periods in Imola. From 1877 one Jewish family – Fiorentino – dwelled there. During the years 1944–45 a number of Italian or foreign Jews in transit were helped by the population and by the *Jewish Brigade.
Milano, Italia, 250; Roth, Italy, index; Ravà, in: Educatore Israelita, 21 (1873), 174–6. A. Ferri, Dal Regno al Regime – Ebrei imolesi dall'unità d'Italia alle leggi razziali (1998).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.