SAN DANIELE DEL FRIULI, small town in Udine province, Friuli, N.E. Italy. The presence of Jews is first confirmed in a document dating from 1523 which refers to the management of a bank entrusted to one Simon Nantua and, later, to his sons. There were also Jewish physicians living in San Daniele at least from 1549.
In 1600, two Luzzatto brothers, who had come from Venice, joined the bank; in 1623–1624 the bank passed to the Luzzatto family's control alone. The Luzzattos managed the bank until 1714, when it was suppressed following the opening of a *Monte di Pieta. Meanwhile the community had grown. The Catholic reaction reached San Daniele in the early 17th century, the Jews being compelled to wear the *badge in 1626.
The 18th century was a period of expansion for the Jewish community, although the Venetian government closed the bank. Aside from the bank, the Jews were engaged in other professions, such as raising silkworms; agriculture (mainly beekeeping); handicrafts, such as goldsmiths; industry, such as the production of bricks; and trade in tobacco. The synagogue was erected between the years 1729 and 1731. In the same period, in 1735, the community purchased an area for the cemetery. The Luzzatto family dominated the life of San Daniele. An important figure was Letizia Luzzatto. San Daniele was the birthplace of the brothers Ephraim and Isaac *Luzzatto, both poets; the latter, who studied medicine at the University of Padua, was a successful physician. He wrote a book of poetry, Toledot Yiẓḥak. He also satirized the local life in his parody, Mishnayot Sandaniel. In 1777 the Republic of Venice, on whom San Daniele was dependent, decreed the expulsion of the Jews from all places without a ghetto; San Daniele therefore had to be abandoned. It seems that the services of Isaac Luzzatto were so valued by the local population that the local authorities requested the Serenissima to exclude the latter from the decree of expulsion. Some of those expelled sought refuge in Gorizia, but the majority went to Trieste. Among the latter was Ezechia Luzzatto, father of Samuel David *Luzzatto. In the first decades of the 20th century a small community was reestablished in San Daniele, but it was short-lived.
Milano, Bibliotheca, index; F. Luzzatto, Chroniche storiche della Università degli ebrei di San Daniele del Friuli (1964); Y. Luzzatto, Toledot Yiẓḥak (1944), 133–7; Zoller, in: REJ, 94 (1933), 50–56; E. Patriarca, in: Atti del Congresso… Storia Patria (1958), 33–63. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.G. Cusin and P.C. Ioly Zorattini, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Itinerari ebraici, I luoghi, la storia, l'arte (1998), 92–100.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.