PIOVE DI SACCO, small town in Padua province, N. Italy. Piove di Sacco was the first town to admit Jews in this region. Before 1373 a moneylending bank was founded there by a Jewish consortium. In 1455, when the Jews of Padua were forbidden to lend money, they transferred their business to nearby centers, among them Piove di Sacco – where there had never been a ghetto. Piove di Sacco is of particular interest for its Hebrew press. In 1475 Meshullam Cusi Rafa ben Moses Jacob of nearby Padua and his sons set up a Hebrew printing press and were the first to issue a Seliḥot prayer book in nonvocalized square type (1475). In July 1475 they printed in folio form, the first volume of the first printed edition of *Jacob b. Asher's Arba'ah Turim – the second dated Hebrew book in Italy (now found at Padua's Biblioteca Civica Bp 6747). Meshullam died soon after, and his widow and sons Solomon and Moses continued printing the remaining volumes. After the second and third volumes were issued, the sons were imprisoned, apparently in connection with the *Trent blood libel, and their mother completed publication of the fourth volume alone (see *Incunabula). In 1905 Leone Romanin Jacur sat in the Italian parliament as the town's deputy.
A. Ciscato, Gli Ebrei in Padova (1901), 21, 53, 158; G.B. De Rossi, in: Annales Hebraeo-Typographici, sect. 15, no. 2 (Parma, 1795); A. Vercesi and L. Dalla Rira, Capitoli concessi da Francesco da Carrara… all'ebreo Abramo… in Piove di Sacco (1900); S. Bassi, in: Festschrift Bellini (1959), 288–96. HEBREW PRINTING: D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909), 22, 24, 26; Ḥ. D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri bi-Medinot Italyah (19562), 22–25; Milano, Bibliotheca, no. 1541.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.