A new Parochet

A Florentine parochet made by Jewish women in Florence

Not everyone knows that parochet, the curtain that covers and protects the Aron Ha Kodesh, the ark that holds the Torah scrolls, is a femmine noun in Hebrew. In Florence, we are lucky enough to have one of the most unique parochets in the world: it was made in the early 1900s by a group of Jewish women in Florence, who were amongst the first to adhere to the Zionist ideals.

Indeed, our parochet is femmine not only from a linguist point of view, but also in terms of its history, as it was designed and created by Jewish Florentine women. In 1917, when the Jewish Community of Florence was led by Rabbi Shmuel Zvi Margulies, a group of young women decided to commission the parochet. Amongst them there was also Nella Uzielli, who was engaged to Aldo Neppi Modona, who was in the army together with other Jewish men fighting for Italy during the First World War. Many of them were the first to adhere to Zionist ideals, this is why the parochet recalls the first flag of the state of Israel. It has a white background with a light blue band and a star of David, embroidered next to seven stars and the inscription ZION in Hebrew, all symbols of the early Zionist movements.

This parochet has been used for more than a century in Florence for religious services during Chanukkà, Simchat Torah and, after the founding of the State of Israel, for Yom Hazmauth. The parochet, unfortunately, is now in very bad conditions and it is impossibile to use it. Thanks to a generous contribution from the Palazzo Vecchio Lions Club in Florence, the original parochet will be restored so that it can be added to the Jewish Museum of Florence. To maintain the traditional use of this parochet that had a truly extraordinary history tied to our Community, as it was sewn and embroidered with pride and love by Florentine Jewish women, we beleive that is is necessary to reproduce a copy of the original parochet so that we can keep this tradition alive.

We hope to be able to continue to admire and use this special parochet, which is important not only for its religious function, but also for its artistic value and aboveall for its historical importance and as a testimony of the identity of the Florentine community.

For this project, our goal is to raise 6000 for the parochet and 500€ for the tevà cover, where the Torah scrolls are stored. We have already reached a part of the total amount thanks to the generous support of the ADEI (the Association of Jewish Women in Florence), but we need your support to arrive at our final goal.

What are we seeking? We are looking for one important donation in the range of 1000-3000 euro: we will embroider the name of the donor in the back of the parochet in golden thread. We are also looking for two or three medium donations in the 500-999 euro range and a number of smaller donations in the 1-499 range. Every single donation will be greatly appreciated!
All donors will be invited to the ceremony in which the new parochet will be used for the first time.

For more information please write to us at the following email address: donations@firenzebraica.it.

  • 20,000.00

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Noemi Coen

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ID Name Email Amount
10709Gabriela Geselowitzarctophile2000@gmail.com
10619Giorgio de Polodepolo.giorgio@gmail.com
10570Tatiana Caronipotepuli@gmail.com
10566Tatiana Caronipotepuli@gmail.com
10565Niccolò Grunraffaella@passigli.com
10564Raffaella Passigliraffaella@passigli.com
10563Stefano Zanonrebecca.passigli@gmail.com