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Alfonso Pacifici

PACIFICI, ALFONSO (1889–1983), Italian lawyer and thinker. Born in Florence, he came under the influence of Rabbi S.H. *Margulies and became the leader of the group who attempted to revitalize Jewish life in Italy through "integral" Judaism, combining religion, culture, and Zionism. A remarkable orator with a striking appearance and great personal charm, he exercised a considerable influence on a whole generation of Jews in Italy, even those who subsequently disagreed with his increasingly uncompromising orthodoxy. In 1916, he founded (with Dante *Lattes) the weekly Israel. He settled in 1934 in Ereẓ Israel, where he continued his activities, mainly for Orthodox educational institutions. His ideas are expressed in such works as Discorsi sullo Shemà (1953), Israel Segullà (1955), and its semi-autobiographical sequel Interludio (1959).

In 1984 a small book was published in Hebrew, "From Florence in Italy to Jerusalem," containing a part of his autobiography and two articles by the editors S. Auerbach and G.B. Sarfatti; in Jerusalem a street was dedicated in his memory, Segullat Israel Street, the title of one of his books; his archive has been transferred to the Central Archives for the History of Jewish People in Jerusalem and an "inventario" of it was published (ed. R. Spiegel) in 2000.


Israel (June 5, 1969); Roth, in: Menorah Journal, 47 (1959), 41–49; RMI, 35 (1969), 233f.

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