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November 17, 2015 2:22 pm

Pope Francis to Pay First Official Visit to Rome’s Great Synagogue

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Pope Francis will visit the Great Synagogue of Rome. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis will visit the Great Synagogue of Rome. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Pope Francis will make his first official visit to Rome’s Great Synagogue next January, the city’s Jewish community said in a statement on Tuesday. He will be the third pope to visit that venue.

The pontiff will meet with Jewish leaders at the synagogue on Jan. 17 — the same date that Rome’s Jewish community will commemorate “Lead Mo’ed,” when torrential rain in 1793 saved Jews from a Roman mob’s attempt to attack them.

In his most recent meeting with Jewish leaders, Pope Francis last month affirmed that attacking Jews and attacking Israel are both antisemitism.

“There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the state of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity,” he told a World Jewish Congress delegation.

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