VENICE — It was a Friday afternoon in the heart of the historic Venice Ghetto, and I was chatting with the city’s chief rabbi, Elia Riccheti, when his cellphone beeped.
“It’s a text message from Gam-Gam Goodies, the Chabad-run pastry shop around the corner,” said the bespectacled Riccheti, whose wispy white beard spills down to his chest.
He read me the message, a reminder that there were still some chocolate, poppy-seed and cream-filled kosher pastries left — and still time to pick them up before Shabbat.
“They really know how to use technology,” Riccheti said, smiling.
Many of the circles that make up Jewish Venice converged in that moment.