Head of Venice Jewish community resigns abruptly

Venice Jewish community president Riccardo Calimani abruptly announced his resignation during Rosh Hashanah services.

An author and historian who had been elected four months ago, Calimani did not offer a reason for his resignation on the evening of Sept. 4 during services at the centuries-old Spanish synagogue in the historic Venice Ghetto.

But local news reports said that during a pre–Rosh Hashanah inspection of the community’s home for seniors, police found and confiscated 130 pounds of meat that had been improperly frozen and whose expiration date had passed.

The 110 boxes of meat had been in the freezer since well before Calimani took office, the reports said, but legal responsibility rested with him, as the home is run by the Jewish community.

A Jewish source in Venice said members of the 400-member community were “rightly outraged” to have learned about the affair through newspaper reports and not Jewish community channels. — jta