Thursday, January 19, 2017


Today, we left the Eternal City and made our way to Venice. Once we arrived, we were given a choice to go see the Jewish ghetto or to explore Venice on our own. 

Those of us who went to the ghetto got to take a tour of the five synagogues that are in the three different parts of the ghetto. We saw the differences between the Ashkenazi and the Sephardic synagogues and also learned the history of the ghetto itself. The word "ghetto" comes from the Venetian word "getto" which means foundry, as the first ghetto was placed on the site of a former foundry in Venice.  However, the original Jews could not pronounce "getto" correctly, and instead said "ghetto". The two Sephardic synagogues were a lot larger and more extravagant than the Ashkenazi ones, as the Sephardic Jews were wealthier and were willing to pay more in order to have marble in their synagogue, which was outlawed by the Church. It was really interesting to see the differences between the two different sects of Judaism. In addition to the different decor, all of the synagogues had separate areas for the women, as these were Orthodox synagogues, where men and women do not sit side by side. 

Those of us who choose to not go to the ghetto wandered around exploring Venice and many of us shopped for leather, Murano glass and Venetian masks! We are excited to explore more tomorrow! 


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