February 24, 2024

In the heart of Genoa’s historic center, Rabbi Haim Fabrizio Cipriani, 52, was threatened and verbally abused by a homeless man on Monday. The attack took place while Cipriani, who was wearing a kippah, was singled out. The Genoa Police Headquarters promptly intervened, and fortunately, he emerged unharmed. The incident was reported by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which described how the 58-year-old attacker was apprehended by the police and taken to the police station. He faced charges of making threats and the aggravating circumstances outlined in the Mancino Law, which pertains to “racial insults.” Moked, a Jewish Italian news site, covered the incident and quoted Cipriani’s response to the attack. Cipriani, affiliated with the Conservative movement, mentioned that the attacker had threatened him with a screwdriver and unleashed a barrage of antisemitic slurs, but fortunately, no one heeded his call for violence. In a Facebook post following the incident, Cipriani expressed his gratitude and reassurance to his community. This disturbing incident is not the first time Cipriani has faced antisemitic hostility. He shared with Moked that similar attacks had occurred in France, where he was chased down the street in broad daylight in the French cities of Montpellier shortly after the multiple hijacked airline attack on September 11, 2001, and again a few years later in Nice. In response to the incident, the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) issued a statement expressing “solidarity and closeness to Rav Haim Fabrizio Cipriani, victim of an antisemitic attack, which directly affects all Italian Jews.” Aside from his role as a rabbi, Cipriani is also a renowned musician, a professional violinist who was a professor at the Niccolo Piccinni Conservatory in Bari, Italy.