Music of the Jews in Italy: A Lecture with Musical Selections

Temple Beth Ami

Dates: Sunday, March 06, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Speaker: Dr. Ramón Tasat

Throughout the centuries and especially after the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century, the Italian city-states received Jews from all over the map. So welcoming was this land that Jews referred to it as I-Tal-Yah (Hebrew for “Island of God’s Dew,” which denotes a blessing).

Jews have lived in Italy since the year 160 B.C.E. when, tradition states, a delegation of ambassadors was sent by Judah Maccabee from Jerusalem to Rome. From the 16th century to the present day, the impact of Italian art and popular music on the musical field has been overwhelming. This same land of opera and bel canto has made a solid imprint on the liturgy of the Jews as well.

Hazzan (Cantor) Dr. Ramón Tasat will discuss the history of the Jews in Italy and the influences of Jewish liturgy and Italian music on one another. His talk will be accompanied by several musical selections sung by members of the Kolot HaLev (Voices of the Heart) Choir.

Selections include the Livornese composition for the new Hebrew month, “Me 'Gnarba Canfot haHaretz” (From the Four Corners of the Earth) compiled and harmonized by Federico Consolo (1841-1906), “Fate onore del bel Purim,” a reminder to be happy during the holiday of Purim (sung in Judeo-Italian), and “Adío kerida” (farewell, my beloved,) an enormously popular early 20th century love song, which is strikingly similar to the melody of Giuseppe Verdi’s aria “Addio! del passato” from his opera La Traviata.

We invite you to stay after the performance to enjoy a reception and opportunity to mingle with Dr. Tasat and his fellow artists.

In memory of Anna Balen Goald, endowed by the generosity of Dr. Harold Goald.

There is no cost for this program, however we ask that you register below.

At and Co-Sponsored by:

Temple Beth Ami
14330 Travilah Road
Rockville, MD, 20850


To see other events commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto, CLICK HERE.


Related Links: Your Donations allow us to Continue our Programming

Registration Form

Number of Participants*

$0 - please register

Participant Names

Are you a member of Temple Beth Ami?


Items marked with * are required fields


2200B Baltimore Road, Rockville, Maryland 20851 Phone: 301-770-4787 Email: