Shabbat & Jewish Holidays
How do I reserve for Shabbat with Chabad of Venice?
?כיצד ניתן להזמין עבור שבת עם חב"ד ונציא
1. Read Below about the Three Different Shabbat Programs
2. Fill Out This Required Shabbat Request Form
(Double or triple click to Copy & paste link in separate browser, if necessary.)
Holiday info follows Shabbat info
המידע של החג נמצא אחר המידע של שבת
Please remember we are a family on shlichus, (not a business), who has strived to make a memorable Shabbat Experience possible for 28 years, with kosher food & wine from abroad.
אנא זכרו שאנחנו משפחה בשליחות (לא עסק), שמנסים לעשות חווית שבת בלתי נשכחת במשך 28 שנה, עם אוכל כשר ויין מחו"ל.
Chabad of Venice's Luxury Shabbat at GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant - by reservation only.
Shabbat Dinner, Lunch & Seuda Shlishit at your pre-reserved private table in GAM GAM, a luxury atmosphere with more food/wine choices than Option 2.**
Minimum donation of 126 euro per person (any age). Suggested donations in meritorious amounts of 18=Chai per person: €180, 360, 504, 900, 1800. Your donation helps cover your own meal expenses and more is very welcome to help the Chabad House continue to be here. (Meals and Chabad of Venice activities are not subsidized by any organization so we very much appreciate your generosity). We give our maximum and we hope you will too. A most heartfelt thanks in advance for your much needed tzedakah.
שבת של חב"ד וונציה במסעדת GAM GAM Kosher - בהזמנה בלבד.
כל שלוש הארוחות כוללות: ארוחת ערב שישי, ארוחת צהריים וסעודה שלישית בשולחן הפרטי השמור שלכם במסעדת GAM GAM, אווירה יוקרתית עם יותר אפשרויות תפריט אוכל /יין לבחירה מאשר אפשרות 2. **
תרומה מינימלית של 126 יורו לאדם (בכל גיל). אנו נותנים את המקסימום ומקווים שגם אתה.
אנא שקול לתרום יותר מאשר המינימום, בספירה של 18 = חי לאדם (360,180, 504, 900, 1800, וכו '...).
תודה מראש ומקרב לב על הצדקה המוערכת שלך.
Chabad of Venice's Shabbat in the Gallery - by reservation only.
Shabbat Dinner, Lunch & Seuda Shlishit at your pre-reserved private table at an art gallery, a few doors away from GAM GAM**
90 euro per person, children 11 and under 50 euro. As mentioned above, your donation helps cover your own meal expenses and more is very welcome to help the Chabad House continue to be here. (Meals and Chabad of Venice activities are not subsidized by any organization so we very much appreciate your generosity). Thank you!
שבת של חב"ד ונציה בגלריה - בהזמנה בלבד.
כל שלוש הארוחות כוללות: ארוחת ערב שישי, ארוחת צהריים וסעודה שלישית בשולחן הפרטי השמור שלכם בגלריה לאמנות, הנמצאת בסמוך למסעדת גם גם **
90 יורו לאדם, ילדים מתחת לגיל 12 – 50 יורו.
Chabad of Venice's Communal Meal at the Shul
Chabad of Venice offers a Kiddush/Light Meal after synagogue services. Both Friday night & Shabbat day: Kiddush, challah & a light meal is served. No reservations necessary, all are welcome. On a donation basis, Suggested Donation after Shabbat: Adult €36 Children under 12 €18. Your donation helps cover your own meal expenses and more is very welcome to help the Chabad House continue to be here. (Meals and Chabad of Venice activities are not subsidized by any organization so we very much appreciate your generosity).
ארוחה קהילתית של חב"ד ונציה בבית הכנסת
חב"ד של ונציה מציעים קידוש / ארוחה קלה אחרי תפילת בית הכנסת. גם ביום שישי בערב וגם ביום שבת:
קידוש, חלה וארוחה קלה. אין צורך בהזמנות, כולם יתקבלו בברכה.
על בסיס תרומה, תרומה מוצעת: מבוגר € 36 ילדים מתחת לגיל 12 € 18
Answers to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Meals can not be divided between the three locations.
2. Sample Friday Night Dinner Menu: Shabbat Salads, Fish, Soup, Main Course, Sides, Dessert, Wine & Challah for kiddush.
3. Sample Shabbat Day Lunch Menu: Shabbat Salads, Fish, Cholent, Sides, Dessert, Wine & Challah for kiddush. Seuda Shlishit is also served (parve).
4. Difference between GAM GAM & the Gallery: Both are private table options; GAM GAM is more luxury meaning luxury atmosphere, more food & food/wine choices.
5. Directions under "Directions & Travel Info"
6. If you are inquiring about one meal only, at this time of year we need to hold tables at GAM GAM & the Gallery for those who are relying on having all the Shabbat meals. We hope you will join us for all the Shabbat meals, but if you would like one meal only, you are welcome to join any of the communal meals at the Chabad Shul or you can order take-away directly at GAM GAM on Friday.
7. The menu may vary, but will include traditional Shabbat foods such as Shabbat Salads, Baked Salmon, Moroccan Fish, Baked Chicken, Kugels, Side Dishes, Challah, Wine, Cake.
8. Chabad of Venice depends only on YOU. Without you, we can't exist. Your donations are our only source of support and they ensure we can provide Shabbat meals, a shul with electric and a minyan, a Jewish atmosphere & all other aspects of our work here.
9. We do not have water urns or hotplates to rent out.
10. There are very few kosher items to buy in regular supermarkets, such as canned vegetables, nuts, rice cakes & some Kellogg's cereals. (There are no hechshers on the packages). Details will be given in person.
11. There is no kosher gelato, except at gam gam goodies.
12. With thousands of incoming tourists, home hospitality is simply not possible.
13. For babysitting, please ask your hotel for professional babysitting services.
14. The eruv covers most of the city, including areas that are on the same side of the Grand Canal as the Jewish Ghetto. The Grand Canal is easily seen using Google Maps.
15. GAM GAM and gam gam goodies are under Lubavitch Kosher Supervision, always Pas Yisrael, Bishul Yisrael, Chalav Yisrael or Glatt Kosher.
16. GAM GAM & gam gam goodies can pack food to take away
17. GAM GAM & gam gam goodies can deliver anywhere in Venice. Delivery in Venice goes by private boat company and they (the boat companies) charge according to address. For example, to S. Marco, they charge around €70. You can usually order delivery for the same day if it is for up to four people. For larger deliveries, a day or two is usually enough notice.
תשובות לשאלות נפוצות
1. הארוחות אינן ניתנות לחלוקה בין שלושת המקומות.
2. תפריט ארוחת ערב שישי: סלטי שבת, דגים, מרק, מנה עיקרית, קינוח, יין וחלה לקידוש.
3. תפריט לארוחת צהריים שבת: סלטי שבת, דגים, צ'ולנט, תוספות, קינוח, יין וחלה לקידוש. סעודה שלישית מוגשת גם היא (פרווה).
4. ההבדל בין גלריית האומנות למסעדת GAM GAM: לשתיהן אפשרויות לשולחן פרטי;
GAM GAM הוא יותר יוקרתית מבחינת אווירה, ומבחינת אפשרויות בחירה בתפריט האוכל ותפריט היינות.
5. הכוונה אלינו נמצאת תחת "הוראות נסיעה ומידע"
6. במידה ואתם מעוניינים בארוחה אחת בלבד, בשלב זה של השנה דע כי אנחנו צריכים להחזיק שולחנות ב GAM GAM ובגלריה למי שמסתמך ונדרש לשולחן עבור כל ארוחות השבת.
אנו מקווים שתצטרפו אלינו לכלל ארוחות השבת. במידה ואתם מעוניינים בארוחה אחת בלבד, אתם מוזמנים להצטרף לאחת מהארוחות הקהילתיות בבית הכנסת של חב"ד, או שאתם יכולים להזמין take-away ישירות ממסעדת GAM GAM ביום שישי.
התפריט מגוון ועשוי להשתנות, אך יכלול מנות שבת מסורתיות כגון סלטי שבת, סלמון אפוי, דג מרוקאי, עוף בתנור, קוגלס, תוספות, חלות, יין ועוגות.
חב"ד של ונציה תלויים רק בכם.
בלעדיכם לא נוכל להתקיים. התרומות שלכם הן מקור התמיכה היחיד שלנו והן מוודאות כי נוכל לספק בין היתר, ארוחות שבת, בית כנסת עם חשמל ומניין, אווירה יהודית וכל שאר ההיבטים השונים בעבודתנו כאן.
Prayer & Meal Times
**1. Candle Lighting at GAM GAM (at the entrance of the Ghetto), Mincha prayer follows immediately at the Chabad shul a minute away, in the Ghetto Square.    2. Seder Niggunim (beautiful singing) until dark & Maariv prayer.    3. Shabbat meals follow prayers (Dinner follows Maariv, Lunch follows Shacharit, Seuda Shlishit follows Mincha). Evening prayer times differ weekly & are posted at the Chabad House. Shabbat morning prayers 10:00am. Google your date's candle lighting times.
Shabbat Take Away & Delivery
On Friday, until three hours before Shabbat, GAM GAM offers take-away, conveniently packed to take to your hotel. Menu: www.gamgamkosher.com (also available: Humus, Babaganoush, Salmon with rice, Baked Chicken with rice). GAM GAM also delivers Shabbat meals on Friday to hotels if you pre-order at GAM GAM or at www.gamgamkosher.com.
Why Shabbat In Venice?
Sing songs you know, learn new ones too! Live with the times by learning about the Torah portion as our yeshiva bochurim give Dvar Torahs. Trade stories with new friends from around the globe. You'll find a Jew who speaks French, one who speaks Hebrew, another who speaks English, yet after "HaMotzi Lechem Min Haaretz" on the challah, everyone is completely united. We've had Shabbats with almost 800 people & with decades of catering expertise, our Shabbat is abundant, well-organized & where each person is personally taken care of. Looking forward to welcoming you for Shabbat in Jewish Venice.
Why We Need YOU
"The Whole World's Chabad House" has been serving the International Jewish community for 25 years & needs you to donate generously so we can continue. We don't receive financial aid & your donations are our Only support for all our work, comprising our 400,000 euro annual budget. Please consider an €18 monthly or annual gift. Donations are tax-deductible in the USA. Click “Donate" (lower right).
How do I reserve for Jewish Holidays?
(Prayers and Meals)
Every Jewish holiday, All Year! Rosh Hashana, Tashlich, Yom Kippur, Sukkot (including the sukkah), Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim, Passover (seders both nights) & Shavuot. Prayer Services and Holiday Meals are open to every Jew, young & young at heart!
Send Holiday Request to email@example.com including:
1. The holiday you are coming, in the Subject Line
2. Names/emails of each attendee
You are welcome to join us for Shavuot, including the reading of the Ten Commandments. There will be Holiday meals at GAM GAM and prayer services in the Chabad Shul throughout the holiday, including a special Dairy Meal Sunday afternoon. The Holiday activities are on a donation basis, and your much needed support is greatly appreciated. Help Chabad of Venice continue to spread light & grow!
Suggested donations per person in meritorious amounts of "Chai": €18, €36, €72.........
Silver Partner €360.00
Gold Partner €1000.00
Platinum Partner €1800.00
How does my donation help?
We do not receive any financial assistance so we absolutely need your generous tzedakah. Your donations are our Only source of support & allow us to provide you with our programs serving 300,000 Jews from around the world every year, like Shabbat and Holiday events, a synagogue with 3 daily services, dairy & meat kosher food options & more! May Hashem bless you 1000-fold in return. Donations are tax-deductible in the USA.
Hotels and Kosher Food
Hotels, Rooms & Apartments Near the Jewish Ghetto
For your convenience, our personally recommended hotels from the hundreds of hotels in Venice, all within 10 minutes walking distance of the Jewish Ghetto, (all clean, neat & in the eruv). They are familiar with Shabbat, so don't worry about lights, electric keys etc...They will help you with whatever you need. Prices in Euros are approximate, & based on double room in midseason. (Mestre, Lido, Giudecca, Rose Island, Cipriani are NOT on the island of Venice & are reachable by boat or car). Please use Google Maps to determine your hotel location & walking distance.
When you call, mention Chabad of Venice and GAM GAM for the best rates and service.
If full, check www.airbnb.com & www.booking.com (use search terms "Cannaregio" "Ghetto", which are in the eruv)
Palazzo Ca' Sagredo5 Star Luxury in recently renovated Venetian Palace on the Grand Canal. Tel ++39.041.2771740
Carnival Palace4 Star ++39 041 244 0320 125-200€
New! Mention GAM GAM for best rates & service
Pesaro Palace4 Star ++39 041 296 0748 firstname.lastname@example.org
Boscolo Venezia (Dei Doge)4 Star ++39 041 220 8111 venezia.boscolohotels.com
Grand Hotel Principe4 Star Venetian Style Hotel 150-200€
Tel.++39 041-220-4010 or email email@example.com Ask for the special GAM-GAM rate
Amadeus Hotel4 Star 140-200€ ++39 041 220-4010
Ask for the special GAM-GAM rate firstname.lastname@example.org
Antica Raffineria++39 041-718-666
Hotel Silvaalso rents apartments 70-125€ ++39 041-720326
Hotel Filu'100-140€ ++39 041 71 63 51
Hotel Marte80-125€ ++39 041 71 63 51
Ca' GerottoHostel and rooms ++39.041.715361
Apartment rentals: email@example.com
GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant & Glatt Kosher Catering
Great Food. Great Prices. Great Time.
GAM GAM has done its very best to support & serve the International & Venice community, providing kosher food for nearly two decades. Redefining kosher cuisine, through presentation & taste with the finest ingredients. Located at the main entrance of the Jewish Ghetto by the Guglie Bridge, GAM GAM is a five minute walk from the train station, or take vaporetto number 4.2 or 5.2
"Best Kosher restaurant we found on our travels to Rome, Milan and Florence"
Delicious fresh baked goods, such as bread, pita, cakes, cookies and holiday specialties are available at GAM GAM. Baked daily on premises. "There's a brocha in the dough." (Pat Yisrael, Bishul Yisrael, Shomer Shabbat)
Kosher Food Delivery Anywhere in Venice
Turn your hotel in Venice into a KOSHER HOTEL or KOSHER APARTMENT with GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant convenient hotel delivery. Kosher food delivered to your hotel with waiter service or double-wrapped to be heated in any oven. Let us know how we can make your travels throughout Italy more comfortable. Most orders can be made the same day. A couple days is required for larger orders or during the busy season. firstname.lastname@example.org
For hours and other info about GAM GAM: www.gamgamkosher.com
gam gam goodies
gam gam goodies, located a few steps away from GAM GAM, offers coffee, cappuccino, cookies, breakfast all-day, delicious Italian kosher pizza, sandwiches, baked goods, ice cream, wine & other kosher products. Hours: Sun - Thurs 7:00am until 8:00pm Fri: 7:00am until 1 hour before Shabbat (opens an hour after Shabbat goes out during July & August). (Pat Yisrael, Chalav Yisrael, Bishul Yisrael, Shomer Shabbat).
Regular Supermarkets & other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
1. Bread, Milk & Gelato are NOT kosher in regular supermarkets/bakeries
2. We do not have water urns or hotplates to rent out.
3. There are only a few kosher items to buy in regular supermarkets, not all but some: canned vegetables, nuts, rice cakes some Kellogg's cereals. (There are no hechshers on the packages). Details will be given in person.
4. Kosher Ice Cream is often available at gam gam goodies.
5. GAM GAM and gam gam goodies are under Lubavitch Kosher Supervision, always Pas Yisrael, Bishul Yisrael, Chalav Yisrael or Glatt Kosher
6. GAM GAM & gam gam goodies can pack food to take away
7. GAM GAM & gam gam goodies can deliver. Delivery in Venice goes by private boat company and they (the boat companies) charge according to address. For example, to S. Marco, they charge around €70.
Chabad Houses in Italy
Bologna & Florence- Rabbi Borenstein ++39 348 382 6502
Rome- Rabbi Hazan ++ 39 06 8632 4176
Milan- Rabbi Garelik/Rabbi Hazan ++39 02 539 2010
Rabbi Shaikevitz ++39 02 7010 0080
Trieste- Rabbi Haddad ++39 040 37 09 66
Directions & Travel Info
Getting to the Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto is in the area called “Cannaregio”
Arriving from Venice S. Lucia train station
Facing the canal, with your back to the station, turn left. You will immediately see the large "Ferrovia Bridge" on your right. Do not cross this bridge. Walk past this bridge, continuing along Lista Di Spagna (five minutes) until you reach the first bridge, "Guglie Bridge." Cross Guglie, immediately turn left, & walk along the canal (one minute). You'll find GAM-GAM on your right, at the main entrance of the Jewish Ghetto. Or, take vaporetto #4.2 or 5.2 (GAM-GAM can be seen from Guglie Bridge).
Arriving from the Venice Marco Polo Airport
1. AliLaguna - around €15 / 30-40 minutes - public water boat that stops throughout the city, including a stop right by GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant, called "Guglie" (goo-lee-ye).
2. Autobus - around 1.50€ / 25 minutes - bus right outside terminal takes you to the Venice parking lot called Piazzale Roma. From there, you can take a city boat (vaporetto) or private boat taxi to your hotel
3. Taxi Car - around 40€ / 20 minutes - pick up right outside terminal and takes you to Piazzale Roma.
From there, you can take a city boat (vaporetto) or private boat taxi to your hotel
4. Private Taxi Boat, around 100€ / 20 minutes - Take the electric walkway inside the airport 7 minutes to boat dock. Taxi Boat takes you directly to your hotel
Google Map of the Ghetto
You'll know you've arrived when you see GAM GAM, which is located at the main entrance of the Ghetto: https://tinyurl.com/y8s99qkb
We recommend staying in Cannaregio. However, the eruv covers most of the city, on the same side of the Grand Canal as the Jewish Ghetto.
Museum and Tours
The Jewish Ghetto is the centerpiece of the story of the Jews in Venice. The Ghetto's Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum) offers a tour which takes you inside a few of the 5 Synagogues & explains the history of the Jews of Venice & the synagogues in which they prayed. 40 minutes, tickets bought at museum prior to the tour.
Jewish Ghetto Tour Timetable:
June to August
Sunday-Thursday 10:30am until 7:30pm every hour on the half
Friday 10:30am until an hour before Shabbos. Closed Saturday
Rest of the Year
Monday-Friday 10:30am until 3:30pm every hour on the half
Sunday 10:30am until 4:30pm every hour on the half. Closed Saturday.
The Jewish cemetery at the Lido di Venezia (30 minutes from the Ghetto by boat) has the reserve of a fenced woods and, at the same time, the enduring quality typical of an archaeological outcropping.
It is a characteristic common to other Jewish cemeteries in Italy and in Europe, where the alternation of care and abandonment over the span of many centuries, reflects the historical record – bad and good – of their communities.
The gravestones emerge from a sea of overgrown grass, inclined or flat, or leaning against the brick wall, in the shadow of trees that have grown wild: some have grown so as to embrace the edge of a stone or to have split it. We find not only the funereal cypresses, but plants of many species, casually or intentionally left as a sign of life (Bet ha-chayim, “house of the living” is, in Judaism, the euphemism which designates the cemetery).
The light of the lagoon filters through the leaves. Traces of an order – a garden, efforts of an earlier age – are now confused by the wild vegetation and the half-submerged tombs recall a return to the earth, leaving on the surface a residue of white stone – a silent disorder – or, on the contrary, a re-emergence of memory.
The cemetery grounds have their origins in a vineyard adjacent to the Benedictine monastery of San Nicolo di Mira. It was given to the Jews in perpetuity for the purpose of burial in 1386, in a period when the relationship between the Jews and the Serenissima was becoming more organic and formalized . (In fact, one year earlier, 1385, the candotta de banco (banking license) was granted to certain Jewish families in Mestre.)
When, during the course of the 1800s, a new cemetery was opened in an adjacent area, and the Lido was urbanized, the excavations revealed many graves long hidden from sight. The tombstones are reunited in a small site in the old cemetery, once again enclosed. Many stones have lost their original place and the many Jewish “nations,” once distinct, now find themselves strewn together in the entrance area (originally reserved for the Sephardim) facing towards Venice.
On that shore landed the funeral gondolas of the Hevrat Ghemilut Hassadim, the Jewish burial society. Leaving from the ghetto, the cortege of boats traversed the lagoon, taking a route which avoided passages and bridges from which someone could have thrown objects and trash in mockery of the Jews.
Where Can I Park My Car?
As is known, there are no cars in Venice. There aren't even streets to drive on, only to walk. At the entrance of the island, you will find parking garages at PiazzaLe Roma that charge daily rates around €30, regular car taxis and regular public auto buses. You can also park on the mainland, in the next city of Mestre (around €10 a day) and then take a 10-minute train ride to Venice. Specific parking info is easily found online.
Where Can I Store My Luggage?
There is paid luggage storage at the train station, which is a five minute walk from the Jewish Ghetto. It is easily visible on Google maps.
Interested in Moving to Venice?
It sounds like a dream, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you are looking for your beshert or ready for retirement, Venice is a beautiful city to be in.
Come find out why the magical city on water is one of the world's best cities to live in.
Great career opportunities (even in English or Hebrew) and comfortable apartments are available. Let Chabad of Venice help you make a dream come true!
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project, Jewish Wedding, Anniversary
Need An Idea For A Bar Mitzvah Project or a Bat Mitzvah Project?
Do You Want the Best Resource for Planning a Jewish Wedding, Special Anniversary, Renew Wedding Vows?
With 25 Years of Experience & Expertise in Jewish Celebration Planning & Resources, let us share your Jewish celebration with you to make it the most memorable Jewish celebration of your dreams.
A Simcha for a Jew is Every Jew's Simcha
History & Culture
The Jewish Ghetto
The Jewish Ghetto, the world's oldest, remains intact and is still marked by dark porticoes, peeling paint, laundry hung out to dry, and windows placed so close above one another that you're back aches just thinking about the low ceiling.
Until the 14th century, Jews were allowed to come to Venice for money-lending activities, but were not allowed permanent residents permits. The first Jews were allowed to settle in Venice only in 1385, when the city was involved in a war against neighbouring Chioggia and needed loans from the Jewish money-lenders.
But racism persisted, and in 1516 Venice's ruling council confined all the Jews in a smallen getti, or foundries. The gates were locked at night, and restrictions were placed on Jewish economic activities. Jews were only allowed to operate pawn shops and lend money, trade in textiles, and practice medicine.
They were allowed to area not far from today's train station, where there had be leave the Ghetto during the day, but were marked as Jews: Men wore a yellow circle stitched on the left shoulder of their cloaks or jackets, while women wore a yellow scarf. Later on, the men's circle became a yellow beret and still later a red one.
The first Jews to settle in the Ghetto were the central European Ashkenazim. They built two Synagogues. the Scola Grande Tedesca in 1528-29 and the Scola Canton in 1531-32. They are on the top floors of adjacent buildings, above the Jewish museum and from the outside, are not easily distinguishable from the apartments around them.
Space was limited, and according to Jewish law it is forbidden to have any thing between the Synagogue and the sky - hence their strange attic location. The canton Synagogue was probably added to house the large number of Jews already in the Ghetto.
Next came the Levantine Jews, who practiced the Sepharadic rite. When they got their own neighbourhood, an extension of the Venetian Ghetto granted in 1541, they were wealthy enough to build a Synagogue on the ground, rather than in cramped top floor apartments. The rich red and gold interior of the Levantine Synagogue is particularly beautiful. If you're their in the summer and get to see it. note the intricately carved wooden bimah , or pulpit, and the carved wooden decorations on the ceiling.
Mixed in with the poorer Ashkenazim were Italian Jews who had migrated north to Venice from central and southern Italy. In 1575, they built their own Synagogue on top of some apartments in the same square as the German shul. The Scola Italiana has a cupola, barely visible from the square outside, and a portico with columns marking it's entrance. Inside, there's another exquisitely carved wooden ark of the covenant, housing the Torah.
Levatines and Ashkenazim, Italian and Spanish Jews all lived together in the Ghetto through hard times - including the plague of 1630 - and better times, until Napoleon threw open the gates in 1797 and recognized equal rights to the Jews of Venice. At its height, around 1650, the Ghetto housed about 4,000 people in a space roughly equivalent to 2-1/2 city blocks. Before World War II there were still about 1,300 Jews in the Ghetto, but 289 were deported by the Nazis and only seven returned.
From which the word "Ghetto" derived, the Jewish ghetto of Venice is the world’s oldest. Until 1385, when the first Jews began to settle in Venice , Jews were only allowed to come to Venice for money-lending purposes. But, in 1385, when the city was involved in a war with nearby Chioggia , they needed loans from Jewish money-lenders to finance their campaign and so they allowed Jews to move into the city.
Although, the Jews never were allowed to properly assimilate into the city’s population, and in 1516, the ruling council of Venice confined all Jews to a small area of the city. Where, at night, all routes leading in an out of the Ghetto were guarded and sealed by locked gates. The Jews had limitations set on their economic activities in Venice . They were only allowed to have pawn shops, trade textiles and practice medicine.
Whenever Jews left the Ghetto area, the men had to wear a yellow circle stitched on the left shoulder, while the women wore a yellow scarf. The first Jews to settle in the ghetto of Venice were central European Ashkenazim, who constructed two synagogues: in 1528, the Scola Grande Tedesca, and later in 1532, the Scola Canton. They are still intact, and occupy the rooms above and adjacent to the Jewish museum.
In an area where space was limited, the Jews had no other choice but to build their synagogues in the attic stories of buildings as Jewish law forbids that anything should come between the synagogue and the sky.
The next group of Jews to arrive in Venice were the Levantine, who got their neighbourhood granted to them in 1541, as part of an expansion of the Jewish ghetto. This area today, is known as the “new ghetto.” The Levantine Jews were fortunate enough to build their synagogue on the ground, and the elegant red and gold interior of the Levantine synagogue is particularly special.
Mixed in with the Levantine and Ashkenazim Jews, were Italian Jews who migrated north to Venice from the central and southern parts of the peninsula.
In 1575, the Italians built their own synagogue, the Scola Italiana, which was built on of apartments. The structure features a cupola which is barely visible from the square below. The Spanish synagogue, also built in the 16th century, offers services on Shabbat and holidays. Around 1650, the Ghettos population reached a peak of 4,000 inhabitants. A feat hard to believe as you wander around today, an area no bigger than two and a half city blocks. Before the second world war, there were still 1300 Jews living in the Ghetto. Of the 289 were deported by the Nazi's, only seven returned.
Today, along with neighboring Mestre on the mainland, Venice boasts a population of 500 Jews. Even though the ghetto continues to be the center of community activities for the Jewish community, very few Jews continue to live in the ghetto.
With the opening of Chabad of Venice's Rabbinical Yeshiva 17 years ago, an active daily Jewish life is once again visible in this historic area, offering three prayer services every day. At almost any given time of day, a Jewish tourist can proudly see young, vibrant yeshiva students in the ghetto, helping visitors and neighbors alike. A daily Venetian newspaper stated that “Chabad of Venice is the thriving source of Judaism in Venice today.”
Chabad of Venice
Chabad of Venice
Venice is a city replete with Jewish history, including the first printing of holy books, such as two of Judaism’s most important, the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch. For two decades, Chabad of Venice has been serving tourists from all over the world, as well as our local community. We hope you enjoy reading about our activities, which are certain to inspire. From what the past 25 years has already brought to the city, you can trust that Chabad of Venice will continue to deliver the best of Jewish education, art and culture.
Daily Prayer Services & More
In addition to the Chabad House, which serves as a welcoming center to the Jewish Ghetto, other staples of Jewish life are making an active daily Jewish lifestyle possible, such as kosher food and special event catering from GAM-GAM Kosher Restaurant, world-renowned Shabbat and Holiday Hospitality programs, a rabbinical yeshiva with a synagogue which offers tourists and Venetians morning, afternoon and evening services every day and soon, the completion of a state-of-the-art mikva.
GAM-GAM and the Chabad House promote culture in a number of ways, including hosting art exhibitions featuring Venetian and other Jewish artists. Chabad of Venice seeks to empower and inspire young people through education and training, and creating career opportunities for them, helping them every step of the way to achieve their potential. We just celebrated the sixth year since the establishment of the first children’s Jewish Day School here in Venice in over 50 years, and are seeing tremendous growth as new young families are making Venice their home. The children’s Education Center currently serves ages 6 months through third grade. We are looking forward to adding a new grade each year, watching the school grow as the children grow. Israel's visiting top educators and principals hailed the education center for its excellence in applications of technology in the classroom and its unique, flagship curriculum.
The Rabbinical Yeshiva is also playing a major role in reviving the oldest Jewish Ghetto in the world. 300,000 Jewish tourists visit Venice yearly, the majority of whom experience Judaism through one of our outreach programs, and for a few, this is their first Jewish experience. The yeshiva recently hosted a “Hakhel” 10-year Reunion of its first year graduates, celebrating increased Torah learning in Venice and the more than 140 yeshiva graduates who are now serving as Rabbi's in communities all over the world, including: Australia, California, South Africa, Chile, Israel, Belgium, France, New York, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. The yeshiva is making positive changes in people’s lives all over the globe.
If you want to see results, if you want to see impact, please make the investment in Chabad of Venice today enabling us to continue our dedicated mission of growth of Jewish education, art and culture in this historical gem of a city.
Please use the “Donate” tab on the lower right or mail your donations to:
Rabbinical Academy of Venice
(Your donations are our Only source of support & are tax-deductible in the USA).
You can perpetuate your commitment to Jewish life. Planned Giving provides many creative opportunties to maximize your giving with many benefits to you. Charitable estate and financial planning may be in the form of cash, real estate, securities or other marketable property.
For personal assistance contact Rabbi Ramy Banin at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I leave a gift for a charitable organization that I admire?
It's easy. You can arrange for a gift in several ways, the most common being through a charitable gift in a will or a living trust. Many people set aside a certain dollar amount. Others leave a percentage of their estate, or any assets left over after they have provided for their family. Others leave a paid-up life insurance policy, retirement account, or other financial investment.
Must I have an estate in order to leave a legacy?
Everyone can leave a legacy. "Estate" is simply a word used to describe any money, property, or personal belongings that you own at the time of your death. Most people leave an estate when they die, even though they may not have a great deal of wealth. Even modest gifts are appreciated.
Do I have to include my wish to leave a legacy to a specific organization in my will?
A charitable bequest will not take effect unless you state your intention in your will or living trust. Without a will, you may lose control over your assets after your death.
When should I start to think about leaving a legacy?
The answer is different for each individual. Some people make their wills when they have a first child, or when they receive an inheritance. But don’t put it off--the time is always right to think about how you wish to be remembered.
Why should I consider leaving a legacy?
Consider the institutions and causes you support now. Why have you made gifts of money and time? Picture your Jewish community decades from now. What would you hope to see? Through your legacy, you can ensure that the organizations you care about thrive in perpetuity and the issues you are most concerned with continue to be addressed.
Who will receive my legacy?
All qualified, tax-exempt institutions are appropriate beneficiaries. Organizations you have supported in your life are natural choices. Help keep the Jewish community strong. By making a gift to Chabad you can insure a strong Jewish community. You may wish to target fields of interests such as Jewish education, care for the elderly, or social services in Israel. You can also support organizations in the general community that have touched your life.
Consider designating a share of your legacy as unrestricted by including Chabad. While some issues remain constant, priorities can shift in sudden and unexpected ways. This is an excellent way to express your trust in future community leaders.
Do I tell the charity that I've left a gift?
That is up to you. Charities often like to know in advance so that they can recognize your generosity. They can also tell you about specific opportunities for giving.
How can I invite my children into the process?
You should engage your children in every step of the legacy planning process. Here are some suggestions:
Initiate a family discussion about how your charitable giving and values.
Together, visit the institutions and programs you are committed to supporting.
Listen to and acknowledge their concerns.
How can my legacy inspire the community?
The legacy planning process can build bonds with your partners in your community. It is truly a way to let your name be remembered as a blessing. Your promise to provide for the Jewish community after your lifetime also makes you eligible for the community’s recognition society.
How can I make sure that my legacy reflects what is important to me?
Our staff is here to be your key resource, advisor and guide. We can help you identify community needs. We can meet with you before you meet with your advisors to brainstorm initial ideas and goals. In future years, we can help involve your children and grandchildren in carrying out your legacy.
How can Chabad work with my professional advisors?
We can work with you and your professional advisors to plan your gift in a way that furthers your unique financial and charitable goals. We are available to meet and consult with your advisors throughout the process.
When should I fund my legacy?
Depending on your assets and goals, you can fund your legacy now or after your lifetime. For example, if you feel there is a compelling need to provide scholarships for needy children, you can begin those scholarships now and direct your estate to complete the balance of the funding. Alternatively, you can designate your entire legacy to be funded after your lifetime if that is more appropriate for you.
How should I fund my legacy?
With the help of Chabad and your professional advisors, you will carefully choose the source of your dollars to help fund your legacy. Examples include retirement funds, highly-appreciated stock and real estate.
How should I structure my legacy?
Depending on your goals, your legacy can be structured in the way that is most advantageous for you. You, your spouse and family members can receive income for life through charitable gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts. Or your legacy can be a simple bequest in your will or from your IRA.
What is the difference between a bequest and an endowment?
A bequest is a legacy gift, distributed from the donor’s estate after the end of his or her life. If not designated, it can be spent in the year that it is captured. An endowment is a permanent fund that is held in perpetuity, distributing a specified percentage annually to the designated purpose. For example an Endowment, are funds that are held by Chabad and distributed each year to programs, scholarships etc.. An endowment can be established by bequest or during the donor's life.
How can I get started?
Simply email Chabad for a confidential meeting. They look forward to working with you to keep the community strong and vibrant for generations to come. Email firstname.lastname@example.org