rav Abramo Vita Cologna

The Heads of this Jewish Community propose with their attached petition Abram Cologna now Great rabbi in Paris as Chief rabbi to be the replacement of the deceased Abram Eliezer Levi.

Considering the proposed Cologna is an Austrian subject, since he is native of Mantua, and possesses all the qualities required by the Sovereign Resolution of 29th January [1]820, this Magistrate believes there is no obstacle for the Exalted Government to confirm him as Chief Rabbi, being him also a man of esteemed talents, enjoying a great reputation, and is also wearing the decoration of the Austrian Order of the Iron Crown.

Trieste, October 16th [1]826

[Archivio di Stato di Trieste, i.r. Governo del Litorale in Trieste – Atti Generali (1814-1850), b. 785]

Authorisation issued by Austrian police authorities for Abraham Cologna’s assignment as Chief Rabbi in Trieste – Archivio di Stato di Trieste.

This gravestone remembers Rabbi Abram Vita Cologna, and is among the few artifacts that survived the dismantlement of the old cemetery. Cologna was born in Mantua in 1754. A Francophile and loyal supporter of Napoleon, was among those sent to the so-called Grand Sanhedrin in Paris in 1807, and later became president of the Israelite Central Consistory of France.

Chief Rabbi of Trieste from 1826 to 1832, right before the city’s first great economic and cultural take-off, he led the Community in a first attempt to reform a Jewry now definitively out of the ghetto, and more and more embedded in the majority society.

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