Jewish Life in Italy

The story of Jews and Judaism in Italy spans more than two thousand years, beginning in the pre-Christian Roman Empire and continuing to today. It is a saga featuring protective inwardness, great Jewish creativity and a compelling mix of struggle and interconnection with wider Catholic society. Italy is famed for its rich culture. Our study tour will focus on Jews and Judaism in Italy, Jewish-Church relations past and present, and innovation in Arts and Letters at the height of Italy’s impact on Western Civilization. The tour sequence will be Venice, Florence and Rome, with side visits to Siena and Pitigliano. We will be visiting Venice during the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the formation of its Ghetto.

Shabbat will be spent with the Jewish community in Florence.

Our scholars, Eugene and Lila Korn, have rich backgrounds in history, art, Judaism and Jewish philosophy. Their overviews will serve to deepen understanding and expand our perspective for the many fascinating sites we will visit. Eugene has vast experience in Jewish thought and Jewish-Christian relations and will provide us with a unique insider’s view when we visit the Vatican and meet with Church officials. Lila has extensive background in European and Jewish History, and in Art History. She will guide our appreciation of masterpieces we will be seeing throughout the study tour.

Each day will feature a 30 – 40-minute Study Session led by our scholars, utilizing PowerPoint presentations and hand-outs. These may be at the hotel after breakfast or on site during the day’s touring.


JEWISH EXPLORATIONS is a collaboration between the Philadelphia-based Gil Travel Group, a leader in travel to destinations around the world for over 40 years and Adults Jewish Learning Programs. JEWISH EXPLORATIONS study tours are led by outstanding Judaic Studies scholars whose depth and breadth of knowledge in their chosen field of expertise is unparalleled.

Our programs are designed to be intimate learning opportunities and are limited to up to 25 participants and some even less.  From archaeological sites in Israel to world renown manuscript collections in England and from the deep South in the United States to the winding alleyways in La Juderia in Spain, JEWISH EXPLORATIONS give you a deeper understanding of the sweep of Jewish civilization around the globe and throughout the span of history.