Rome for Jews is a Jewish cultural association dedicated to providing people of all backgrounds with an easier, more comfortable and more fulfilling stay in Rome. Our services are geared towards helping you spend your precious time more efficiently.
ROME FOR JEWS is proud to offer some of Rome's best tours from a Jewish perspective. We are proud to tell you all the amazing Jewish history and stories in the Colosseum and Imperial Forums, in the Vatican and all over the historic center, not just in the old Ghetto area.
We give our tours in fluent English, Hebrew, Italian and American Sign Language. Our guides are all articulate, knowledgeable, fun and passionately interested in Jewish, Roman and art history. Once we get to the tour sites, we do our tours on foot, as they are all in pedestrian zones, for reasons of archeology and security, and so we can make sure you don't miss any of the great sights or stories that await you at every turn.
For getting exactly the right hotel for you, arranging transportation, train tickets, kosher meals and catering, cell phones, Shabbat needs, and just about everything else, contact us at your convenience. We are proudly Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant) and donate 10% of all our proceeds to tzedaka (righteous charity).
We do not do the kind of uninformative "drive-through" bus tours where you snap photos through a car or bus window without ever truly experiencing the city. We do not work on the Sabbath, even if paid in advance. Touring on a Saturday afternoon might be a relaxing pleasure for a visitor, but for us it would be work and thus a profanation of Shabbat rest. We do not exchange dollars or traveler's checks. We are not equipped to accept credit cards, dollars or traveler's checks. In spite of the many urban legends and rumors, there is no secret side door to let you step directly inside the Sistine Chapel from the street, there is no way to arrange a private meeting over tea and cookies with either the Chief Rabbi or the Pope, and there is no proof that the Menorah and Kelim (the holy vessels from the Holy Temple) are in the basement of the Vatican. We will be very happy, of course, to show you the authentic representations of them in stone carved by the Romans 2,000 years ago.
6 Tours to choose from! Click on a tour for information.
Why is this tour different from all other Jewish tours?
This tour is available
every day, except for Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Entrance fee to the Jewish Museum is ten euros per person. Contact us today to request your "Jewish Rome Tour"!
The history of the Jewish People and the history of Rome are
eternally intertwined. We are the ONLY ones in Rome to interweave all the TALMUDIC
and MIDRASHIC lore that are clearly such vital parts of the Jewish heritage and
history in the Ancient City of Rome. Your Rome For Jews docent will take you through
the ancient ruins of the Roman Forums giving you a one-of -a-kind tour, telling
you the TRUE stories behind the stones and unlocking SECRETS that even many native-born
Romans don't know - the amazing story of the MOST ANCIENT JEWISH COMMUNITY in
the Diaspora will come to life for you. Imagine 23 CENTURIES of amazing stories,
told exactly where they happened, in 2 - 3 unforgettable hours. Starting at the
place where a GOLDEN MENORAH and other sacred objects, taken from the Second Bet
Hamikdash, once stood - to the awe-inspiring story of the infamous ARCH OF TITUS
while you stand right in front of it - to the COLOSSEUM built with JEWISH SLAVE
labor and paid for with the GOLD from the TEMPLE TREASURY You will certainly find
out why this tour is called ...
"A LIVING WALK THROUGH JEWISH HISTORY".
In Italian, we call it la passeggiata, the walk about town before or after dinner. In our evening stroll, we will take in all the most famous, beautiful, romantic and important outdoor sights of the Eternal City: the Pantheon, the Column of Marcus Aurelius, Piazza Navona, Bernini's Elephant and of course the world-famous, beautiful, romantic and important outdoor sights of the Eternal City: the Pantheon, the Column of Marcus Aurelius, Piazza Navona, Bernini's Elephant and of course the world-famous Fountain of Trevi, plus other surprises along the way.
Not only will you hear all the terrific stories that bring the fountains, piazzas and palazzos to life, but you will also find out where to get the best gelato (Italian ice cream) and how to cross a street like a true Roman! This tour involves a lot of walking, but at a leisurely pace - anywhere from 2 - 3 hours, depending on your level of interest and energy.
One of our most requested tours, this is a one-of-a-kind way to see the Vatican Museums, one of the world's greatest and oldest art collections. With over 2,000 rooms stuffed with objects, it is easy to understand why so many tourists get lost, exhausted and overwhelmed. This is a place where it really pays to have the company of an expert, especially one who knows how to show you the Jewish content and other secrets that most visitors don't notice. Yeshiva students in the Vatican Museums Your docent will lead you through the maze of halls and chambers, telling you all the while the gossip and great stories from the Renaissance. Figures like Michelangelo, Julius II, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci will come alive at every turn. You will also learn the philosophy behind the artwork, the Renaissance and the Museum itself.
Of course, since our founder Roy Doliner wrote the international best- selling book revealing Michelangelo's Sistine Secrets, our docents are the only ones authorized and trained by the author himself to describe the secret Jewish messages and other shocking surprises of the Sistine Chapel! Of course, we are the only association in Rome that interweaves Talmudic lore, Midrash and Jewish history with the Vatican!
Depending on your level of interest and energy, and on lines, crowds and other variables out of our control,this tour can take from 3-4 hours; be prepared for a lot of walking. If you have any physical problems with walking or stairs, please let us know far in advance in order to adapt the course of the tour to your needs.
For small private tours, we offer one of the most incredible day trips out of Rome ... TIVOLI! It starts with the Villa of Hadrian in the morning, in gorgeous countryside about one hour outside of Rome. Hadrian started out his reign in 117 C.E. (the Common Era) as one of the world's great statesmen and architects, and then went completely insane. In his paranoic eagerness to stay away from Rome, he had the entire government of the Empire moved out to his wife's villa. Imagine moving the entire government structure and buildings in Washington, DC out to a family ranch in Delaware and you get the idea. The entire project took tens of thousands of slaves ten years, but he did it. During the tour, your docent will recount some of the horrible history of Hadrian and his war on ancient Israel. We'll see intact mosaics, and view some of his incredibly sophisticated and inventive structures. After exploring the amazing sights there, the next stop is the mad Cardinal d'Este's Villa with its world famous fountain pleasure garden, with a snack out on the Cardinal's own Renaissance terrace with its breathtaking views. The composers Palestrina and Franz Liszt both were guests in this villa in different eras, and each wrote music dedicated to this early version of Disneyland. You'll see why both villas won the prestigious title of Official World Heritage Site! Villa Adriana as a model - how Hadrian's complex looked when new, 19 centuries ago.
This is an unforgettable full day tour, usually available on Sundays only (off-season, there is also the possibility to book a tour Tuesdays-Fridays, if scheduled far enough in advance). For larger groups, we will need advance notice in order to rent a suitable vehicle for the day, so those rental costs will have to be figured in. Entrance fees for the two separate Villas come to about 15-16 euros per person, including entrance tickets for your docent as well. For visitors needing to bring along kosher box lunches, please let us know far enough in advance so we can help you plan properly.
The Extraordinary Tour of the Castel Sant' Angelo - Private Fortress of the Popes! Forget all the hot, overcrowded tours of the usual tourist sites. This is such a fantastic opportunity, that you will notice many of the other visitors around us will be Italians and even Romans! What makes this visit so amazing? The Castle was first built by the mad Emperor Hadrian (in the Talmud, known as Adrianus) to be his own tomb - a gigantic round mortuary with an entire artificial forest on top of it!Then, after the fall of Rome, it was ravaged by the barbarians and remodeled by the Popes to be their private fortress when the Vatican was under enemy attack. In peaceful times, the Popes had it decorated and re-decorated according to their very elaborate tastes. So, the huge structure is a sort of time machine - starting in the bottom at 18 centuries ago, then working our way up through different styles and transformations. On the rooftop is the greatest view of Rome. For opera fans, this is where the last act of Puccini's Tosca takes place - we can even show you where the diva is supposed to have jumped off the roof. For fans of the Dan Brown novel Angels and Demons, we will actually be able to show you the entrance to the forbidden Passetto - the secret escape tunnel of the Popes! Imagine, a Jewish expert on the Vatican and Rome leading you through layer after layer of history. You will hear stories from the Talmud and from the Renaissance, stories of our ancestors and of the scandalous carrying-on of several Popes. do not miss this breathtaking experience! Our private Castel Tours meet at the front door to the Castel S. Angelo (a very easy spot to find!)"
Meet Our Docents
helped establish Rome For Jews and still selects and trains the docents personally. He is by trade an award-winning playright and actor, performing in both Italy and the United States, and by passion a historian, interpreter and Talmud instructor. He is currently busy promoting his internationally best-selling book The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican, co-authored with Rabbi Benjamin Blech.
was born in Toronto, Canada. He has a Yeshiva background and a degree in elementary education from the city of New York. He has lived in Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, Israel and now Italy for the past fourteen years. He has taught in Jewish day schools in Hebrew and English. He loves Roman architecture and its amazing Jewish heritage.
is originally from upstate New York and Chicago and has been living in Rome for over twelve years. She has a PHD in Moleculer Cell Biology from Northwestern University and has been a passionate art history scholar for many years specializing in the Medieval era. She also loves teaching the interconnections between Jewish and Roman history and Judaism and Western Art.
You never know who is Jewish in Rome!Contact now
We feel that ALL of our visitors are V.I.P.'s, but of course we are proud to count among our very satisfied guests the following:
Keren Kayemet, Keren Ha-Yesod, AIPAC, the Jewish Federation, Jackie Mason, the family of Vice-President Joe BIden, Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Neil Jordan, and Gilad Shalit. Rabbi Benjamin Blech, Rabbi Schlomo Riskin, Rabbi Marvin Hier and the Board of Directors of the Museum of Tolerance and the Simon Wiesenthal Institute, the Executive Board of International Women's ORT, The Jewish MInisters Cantors Association of America, Rabbi David Lincoln of the Park Avenue Synagogue, the interfaith organization Pave the Way, professors and historians from Yeshiva University, Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary.
Other honored visitors who have enjoyed our tours: The Treasurer General of the United States, the Secretary of Agriculture of the U.S, the U.S. Ambassadors to the UN Mission in Rome, to Germany and to the Czech Republic, the Reverend Robert Schuller, Congressman Ed Royce of California, and the White House Secret Service - to name a few.
"Thanks so much for a most enjoyable and memorable experience. Our guide Andrea was fantastic! She had incredible stories, showed us pictures and facts to highlight the sights we were visiting and was overall just a wealth of information. She highlighted art, history and the Vatican in a way that was easy to understand while at the same time intriguing and exciting. Thanks so much Andrea and Rome for Jews, I will highly recommend your association to friends and clients alike."
"We the took a walking tour for nearly 6 hours with Naor Avikzor, a young Israeli medical student, who knew jewish history like the palm of his hand. We could see how much he enjoyed teaching us about Jewish history and how it was saved in Rome until today. He was charming and kind and spent so much time walking around the city with us until nightfall. He really knew his Jewish history. We could actually feel the Rome of the past in todays times. Naor also had so many funny tales about Historical Romans of the past, and so we were able to remember the stories as we walked in the piazzas by ourselves. We were sorry when the day was over."
"We have been back in Israel for a few days, and we wanted to thank you for the fabulous tours of Rome. We learned so much and had a great time also! My kids can't stop talking about all the things they saw and experienced. My youngest son won an argument yesterday with one of his friends about the meaning and origin of the name 'Nike.' I know we'll always remember this trip, so thank you again."
"Contact us today to request your "Jewish Rome Tour"
Cultural Association ROME FOR JEWS
Please contact David Walden.
Please note that the preferred method of contact is via e- mail.
Telephone: (Italian #) +39 339 705 9603
Please be aware that the phone is off during tours, the Sabbath and other Jewish holy days.