On Wednesday, January 23, in an impressive display against anti-semitism, the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte held a meeting with the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, at the 49th World Economic Forum which took place in Davos, Switzerland. They spoke in Italian, Lazar being an Italian native. “Italy is honored that one of its citizens is the Chief Rabbi of the largest country in the world,” said Conte while shaking Lazar’s hand.
At this meeting, the Prime Minister showed great interest in the well being of Jews living in Russia. Rabbi Lazar informed the Prime Minister about an educational trip for Russian university students to visit Italian Jewish sites. Prime Minister Conte stated that the Italian government would make sure that this trip, which will take place in May for 1,000 students, would be interesting and educational, giving the students a clear picture of Jewish Italian history and a respect for the Jewish nation.
“Programs such as this trip are our best chance at combating anti-semitism in Europe,” said Rabbi Lazar.
The Prime Minister visited the Great Synagogue in Rome and took the opportunity to honor the 37 injured in the 1982 terrorist attack in the synagogue as well as the memory of the two-year-old that was murdered that day, Stefano Gaj Taché.
“I believe that the recent acts of hate against Jews are one of Europe’s biggest problems,” said Conte, “it is of vital importance that we learn from our history, now more than ever, and spread the knowledge amongst those who are indifferent towards anti-semitism.”