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TREVISO, city in N. Italy. The presence of Jews in Treviso and its vicinity is first mentioned in 905. A document from May 28, 972, records that the Emperor Otto I donated to the Monastery of San Candido D'Indica a farm situated near a property owned by a certain Isaac the Jew. In 1235 a certain Vascono Judeo is mentioned in a document. In 1294, Solomon, presumably an Ashkenazi Jew, founded loan banks in the town.

After the annexation of Treviso by the Venetian Republic in 1339 the position of the Jews there was similar to that of the other Jews of the Veneto region. A decree from 1390 orders the local authorities to supervise the activity of the moneylenders. In 1398 the Doge Antonio Venier authorized a tax of 3,000 ducats to be paid by the Jews living in Treviso and Ceneda. By the end of the 14th century five loan banks in Treviso were owned by Jews, among whom were Jacob di Alemagna and Elhanan de Candida, who signed the renewal of their license in 1401. At this time also, the Sicilian scholar *Abulrabi was a student at a yeshivah in the town. At the end of the 15th century R. Benedict Alexander Axelrod was head of a yeshivah in Treviso. A halakhic question addressed by the Jews of Treviso to Judah *Mintz at the end of the 15th century (responsum no. 7) contains references to the construction of a new synagogue and a mikveh as well as to a method for treating eye complaints used by Treviso Jews. In 1443 the obligation to wear the yellow badge was reintroduced. In 1480, five Jews were arrested in Treviso and accused of killing a Christian child, Sebastian Novello, in the wake of similar cases following the affair of Simon of *Trent (1475); they were burned at the stake in Venice. It seems that the Jews of Treviso were banned from moneylending from 1483 until 1487. A Christian loan bank (*Monti di Pietà) was established in Treviso in 1496, and the citizens asked the Venetian government to banish the Jews from the town. After the Jews had agreed to give up moneylending, they were permitted to remain.

In 1509, when Treviso was captured by the armies of the League of Cambrai, the populace rioted against the Jews under the pretext that they had collaborated with the Germans. All Jewish homes were destroyed, except the house of "Calman the Jew, friend of the people of Treviso," or Calimano de Treviso, head of the Venetian family of the same name. That year the doge issued a decree of expulsion, prohibiting Jews from living in Treviso: the ordinance was engraved on a marble pillar in the town square. The Jews moved to nearby Asolo. In 1547 rioting broke out there also when, without apparent motive, a gang of peasants killed eight and wounded ten out of the 37 Jews living there at the time. The rest fled from the area. In the latter half of the 16th century a few individual Jews were to be found in Treviso. In 1880, 27 Jewish gravestones were found during excavations. In 1909–10 fragments of Jewish tombstones dating from the 15th century were found in the Borgo Cavour (then the Borgo Santi Quaranta). In the second half of the 19th century a small Jewish community was again founded in Treviso, but has since ceased to exist.


Leket Yosher, pt. 1 (1903), 44; pt. 2 (1904), 29, 76, 80; E. Morpurgo, in: Corriere Israelitico, 48 (1909–10), 141–4, 170–2; A. Marx, Studies in Jewish History (1944), 128, 130; M.A. Shulvass, in: HUCA, 22 (1949), 6–8 (Heb.); I. Sonne, ibid., 26–27 (Heb.); N., Pavoncello, "Le epigrafi dell'antico cimitero ebraico di Treviso," in: RMI, 34 (1968), 221–32. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Brandes, Veneto Jewish Itineraries (1996), 100–3; I.M. Peles, "Rabbi Moshe Vinek," in: RMI, 67 (2001), 27–31 (Heb.).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.