Prominent rabbis, church leaders and passer-bys gathered outside New York’s Italian Consulate on Park Avenue and 69th Street to honor approximately 8,000 Jews who have been missing since 1943 after being rounded up in Italy.
January 27 marked the 67th anniversary of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, where people all over the world gathered to read the names of the missing Jews.
The Centro Primo Levi, Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th Street will be hosting a production that is based on how Italians helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews.
Chair and C.E.O. of The Mattone Group, Joseph M. Mattone, Sr., who helped underwrite the production, said, “It is a story not unlike Schindler’s List.”
The play reveals the history of the Consul General for Italy in Thessaloniki, Greece, Guelfo Zamboni, who helped save the lives of many Jews in the area. During World War II, Jews with Italian citizenship would not be forced into concentration camps by the Germans. In an effort to help, Zamboni forged hundreds of Italian passports for the Jews living in Thessaloniki, therefore saving many.
According to Mattone, the story captured his support so he wrote to other prominent individuals and businesses asking for theirs as well. So far, donations have been made by Bruce Ratner and other prominent builders in NY, HSBC Bank and Mattone’s partner, Victor Gartenstein.
Mattone, who is also President of San Gennaro Feast, Inc., has always been active in philanthropic fundraising. Just last year he donated to help victims after the earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy.
The production, which is set to open on February 18 at 6 p.m., is still seeking donations. Anyone interested can contact Mattone at 718-353-5500.