COMUNITA EBRAICA / LIVORNO
The Livorno community follows Western European Sephardic
Services on Monday and Thursday mornings, Shabbat, and holidays.
The Jewish community was undoubtedly the largest and most important, economically and culturally, among the various groups who lived in Livorno. The Jewish presence grew slowly between the end of the sixteenth and early nineteenth-up to represent approximately 10% of the total population of the city. Jews held in Livorno trade brokerage and warehousing between the ports of the Levant and the piazzas of Italy and Northern Europe, taking advantage of the privileges granted to the city by the Medici government.
During the eighteenth century, with the change of political and economic situation in the Mediterranean, the traffic pattern acquired a markedly longer north-south, between the North African and the Italian side Livorno Square became a reference for trade with North Africa, largely in hands of the Jews who imported grain, coral, leather, ostrich feathers, and exported textiles and miscellaneous manufacturing. After 1830, due also to the French occupation of Algiers, the city traffic accentuated their decline and with them ten days the Jewish Nation.
The very large privileges bestowed with the "Livornina Constitutions" of 1591 and 1593 and directed to call the Jews in Livorno Spanish-Portuguese who had been expelled from the Iberian Peninsula at the end of the century enabled them to reach economic prosperity and cultural Livorno one rarely equaled in other communities of the Mediterranean was no guarantee for the Marranos (or crypto-Jews) to practice freely without being disturbed by the Inquisition Judaism, v 'was freedom to study and academic achievement, to own property, reside in the district open (there never was in Livorno ghetto), to settle in cities and freely leave with their belongings, to print Hebrew books, administered independently of justice in cases between Jews. The Institute of beliottazione, namely approval by Massari of the Nation of newcomers who request it, ipso facto confer the status of subject Tuscan allowed to enjoy the diplomatic protection abroad. This explains the large number of Jews around the Mediterranean basin that were or are still registered as "Leghorn."
The climate of tolerance and relative freedom established with these privileges fostered the flowering of Jewish studies for which Leghorn became famous for at least three centuries, rabbis and scholars flocked to Livorno, where they found a favorable environment, willing to help patrons and institutions to finance studies and publications education and Talmudic academies provided a considerable library. Famous among the rabbis who lived or sojourned long in Livorno were, among others, Malachi 'Accoen, Abram, Isaac Castle, Jacob Sasportas, David Nieto, Chaim Joseph David Azulai, Elijah Israel and Costa Benamozegh. Next to the Talmud Torah attended by numerous students, many of whom benefited from scholarships, flourished Talmudic academies and literary private.
Source: synagogue website