ALMANSI (Almanzi ), Italian family, originally deriving from Almansa, near Murcia, Spain. About 1665 Abraham Almansi established himself in Scandiano in the duchy of Modena. The family continued to be associated with this little place until the 20th century. The synagogue there, long maintained in the house of Isaac Almansi, was rebuilt by his sons in 1740. Later the family became scattered throughout Italy. baruch Ḥayyim of Padua (d. 1837) was a noted bibliophile who purchased in 1812 a great part of the important library of Ḥayyim Joseph David *Azulai. His eldest son was Joseph *Almanzi (1801–1860) the poet and book collector. emilio (1869–1948) of Florence was a distinguished physicist and mathematician, noted for his contribution in the field of mechanics of the theory of elasticity. dante (d. 1948), a magistrate who was a Fascist party member and deputy chief of police (prefetto) was forced into retirement when the Italian racial laws came into operation in 1938. He was designated president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities and made responsible for securing government authority in 1939 to found, together with Lelio Vittori Valobra, the vice president of the Italian Jewish Communities, Delasem (Delegazione Assistenza Ebrei). He presided over the Union of Italian Jewish Communities with exceptional dignity during the period of racial persecution.
L. Padoa, in: rmi, 33 (1967), 37; M. Wilensky, in: jqr, 38 (1947/48), 189–96. add. bibliography: R.J. Almansi, Dante Almansi: President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Nov. 1939 to Oct. 1944 (1971); R. Almansi, "Ancora su Dante Almansi," in: Rassegna Mensile di Israel, 42 (1976), 453–54; idem, "Mio padre Dante Almansi," in: Rassegna Mensile di Israel, 42 (1976) 234–55; S. Sorani, Virtù contra furore: l'assistenza ai profughi in Italia, 1933–1947: contributo alla storia della "Delasem" (1978); D. Almansi, "Attività svolta dal consiglio della Unione delle Comunità Israelitiche Italiane dal 13 novembre 1929 al 17 novembre 1944," in: Rassegna Mensile di Israel, 45 (1979), 507–24; S. Sorani, L'assistenza ai profughi ebrei in Italia (1933–1941): contributo alla storia delle Delasem (1983); D. Almansi, "Dante Almansi, President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities," in: S. Pugliese (ed.), The Most Ancient of Minorities (2002), 345–52.
[Cecil Roth /
Manuela Consonni (2nd ed.)]