Turin’s Jews have their roots in 15th century migrations from Inquisition-era Spain by way of France. For a couple of centuries, they eked out an existence under the dukes and kings of Savoy. Barred from owning real estate, serving in the military, joining a trade or craft guild and attending schools, the Jewish population, compelled to wear a yellow mark on their clothing, were permitted to work as pawnbrokers and reweaves.
The city’s ghetto was jammed into two blocks of buildings in 1639 and today the original gates still stand.
Today, Turin is a thriving community of some 1,100 Jews. The community boasts its own day school with 100 students (partially Jewish), a home for the elderly and historical archives with more than 3,700 titles.