Barbara Aiello

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Rabbi Barbara Aiello was the first Rabbi of Synagogue Lev Chadash in Milan, Italy. Aiello is the first female and first non-Orthodox Rabbi in Italy and has served as the head of Italy's first Reform synagogue.

Early life[edit]

Rabbi Barbara Aiello, whose family descends from Spanish/Italian Anusim[citation needed], was born in the United States as a first-generation Italian-American whose origins lie in the Calabrian village of Serrastretta (where her father worked with the Partigiani during World War II)[citation needed]}. Aiello is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and received her Masters Degree from George Washington University.

Career as a Rabbi[edit]

She was ordained as a Rabbi by the Rabbinical Seminary International, in New York City. In 2004, she was named the first Rabbi of Synagogue Lev Chadash, the first Reform synagogue in Italy, and in 2005, she conducted the first Passover Seder in Sicily (in Palermo) since the 1493 expulsion of the Jews from Sicily. She currently heads the Jewish Culture and Hebrew Language Institute, a body dedicated to the study of Jewish history in Calabria. In 2007, with the help of Rabbi Aiello, Calabria consecrated the opening of its first synagogue in 500 years. The Ner Tamid del Sud Synagogue in the town of Serrastretta serves the regional Jewish community.