In 1386, the Venetian Republic granted permission to the Jewish community to create a cemetery on the island of the Lido. Since then, through numberless historical vicissitudes, expansions, devastations, restitutions, compensations, the Jews of Venice have buried their dead in this unique area, predating the famous Ghetto (established in 1516) by more than a century. Today it is divided into two separate cemeteries, the older hosting the graves of famous Jewish individuals such as Leon Modena and Sarra Copia Sulam, and the newer bearing witness to the continuing existence of the Jewish community over the last three centuries.
“Aldo’s Stones” – a documentary in the making – by award-winning Venetian film-maker Elia Romanelli brings together the history of one of the most fascinating heritage sites in Venice and the life of its extraordinary ‘guardian angel’. For over forty years Aldo Izzo, a former sea captain who spent part of his childhood in hiding to escape the Nazi-Fascist persecution in his native Venice, has been taking care – on behalf of the Jewish community – of two ancient cemeteries that bear witness to Jewish life in Venice more than 100 years before the creation of the famous Ghetto in 1516. Through a walking tour with Ruth Ellen Gruber, director of Jewish Heritage Europe, Izzo tells the story of both famous individuals and the community as a whole, showing with his captivating style how the gravestones of the so-called ‘House of Life’ are exceptional historical and social documents. But the documentary also highlights the unique, intimate relationship of a man in his nineties who has devoted almost half of his life to a place that is arguably the most underrappreciated monument in the whole of Venice.
If you wish to support documentary “Aldo’s Stones” you can donate to:
(for American donors)
Venice Center for International Jewish Studies, Inc. (our twin US 501(c)3 non profit organization)
838 Walnut Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Bank: Wells Fargo Bank
420 Montgomery St, CA 94104
Account number: 5713386000
International transfer – SWIFT (or BIC): WFBIUS6S
Domestic transfer – Wire routing number: 121000248
Please specify as reference “Aldo’s Stones”
(for Italian donors)
CENTRO VENEZIANO DI STUDI EBRAICI INTERNAZIONALI