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Soragna's Jewish history brings us back to the sixteenth century. Just opposite the town's castle, which is still in use today by the Meli Lupi family which has occupied it since that time, we find the synagogue which in 1584 was already being used as a Jewish Oratory. Today it is a museum with a synagogue room. This historical landmark of the Jewish community of Soragna houses furnishings, ceremonial objects, and items from the former Jewish communities of Parma and Piacenza and educates the public through mixed media. Documents in the museum recount three centuries of Jewish history in the area. The small cemetery in Soragna, which has been in use since 1839, is the second burial place for the community and replaced an earlier site that dated from 1750.

Historical information

The small Jewish community in Soragna was formed after the expulsion of Jews from Parma in 1555 and Piacenza in 1570. Duke Ottavio Farnese allowed loan banks in several rural localities in 1562, which attracted Jews from other communities as well. In 1574, the number of loan banks allowed was reduced, yet Soragna remained the seat of a Jewish bank. The tolerant princes of the Meli Lupi family allowed the community to lead a peaceful life although the local population did discriminate against the group from time to time.
French troops were regarded by the Soragna community as liberators when they arrived in 1803 and granted Jews their first freedoms. A small community from the beginning, the Soragna group eventually became part of the Parma community after the Restoration and the Unification of Italy.

Soragna synagogue Soragna synagogue Soragna Jewish Cemetery

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