ROME — Whenever Georges De Canino worries about the future of Italian Jewry, he looks at the bricks in the building across the street from his apartment in the center of this city’s old Jewish ghetto.
A painter who sometimes stares at the stones for inspiration, De Canino claims that they originally came from the Coliseum, and they remind him of history’s long arc. The stones have been in Rome for nearly 2,000 years. The city’s Jews have been here for longer. And neither of them, De Canino says, is going anywhere.
“Above all, it’s a community that survives invasions, barbarians, the economy,” De Canino said. “We’re a small community that is reborn, that grows. We play a very important role in Italy.”