January 17, 2010 | Dan V. Segre
Most Italians think there are many times more Jews in Italy than the thirty-one thousand paying members of the Italian community. Native Italian Jews probably number no more than fifteen thousand. There are sizable communities of Libyan (mainly in Rome) and Lebanese and Iranian origin (mainly in Milan). The false perception of a large number of Jews in Italy results from the fact that several Jews have indeed played key roles in Italian society over the past century and a half.