The 400 year old secrets of Italian feminists in Italy - life & culture

Jan 28, 2020 431

BY: Jackie Austin

In 1620, Rachel Olivetti – the daughter of an aristocratic Italian Jewish family – married her fiancé Judah Leone from the famous Montefiore line. Before the couple got married, Olivetti decided to make a gift for her fiance’s family: an ornate, hand-embroidered parochet (Torah ark curtain) made of fine fabrics in dark red and gold.

But Olivetti’s gesture didn’t end there. In a feminist act that was almost unthinkable at the time, she sewed a poem that proudly ran the length of the parochet and praised marriage as “an important day for the Montefiores” because she, Rachel from the Olivetti- Clan whose family entered their home.

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