FINALE EMILIA , town near Modena, north-central Italy. Jews settled there in 1541 or even earlier; at first they were moneylenders but later they engaged in commerce in brandy and feed or in small industry, one of them producing mercury chloride from 1678. A first synagogue already existed in 1600 and another one was erected in 1630 (restored in 1839), and in the 1620s there was already an active Gemilut Hasadim confraternity. It was only in 1736 that the Jews were confined in a ghetto, where 201 Jews lived in 1799. Although there were 162 Jews still living in Finale in 1854, the community as such gradually dissolved between the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 1880s the commercial importance of Finale diminished and many families left and moved to other cities. The community was revived as a private association in 1878, but by then numbered only 50 members and before long ceased to exist. In the 1920s eight families lived in Finale and the Jewish community was attached to the Jewish community of Modena. In 1932 the synagogue was closed. The community of Finale died out completely in the second half of 20th century. In the 1990s the ancient cemetery with the most ancient tombstone from 1584 was completely restored by the Municipality and the Jewish community of Modena.
Milano, Italia, index; Roth, Italy, index; Cammeo, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 42 (1894), 223–6, 257–9, 291–3; Servi, in: Corriere Israelitico, 10 (1871/72), 46–49. add. bibliography: A. Masina, La comunità ebraica a Finale nel Seicento (1988); M.P. Balboni, L'antico cimitero ebraico di Finale Emilia (1996).
[Attilio Milano /
Federica Francesconi (2nd ed.)]