Italian Heritage
Rabbi Barbara speaks
Italian and is a first
generation American
whose family originates in
Italy.  Her father, Antonio
Aiello was raised in
Calabria in the small
mountain village of  
Serrastretta in the
Province of Catanzaro, and
worked with the Partigiani
(Italian Partisans) during
World War II.  
Rabbi Barbara Aiello
Rabbi Barbara is National Chaplain for Bugles Across America
Rabbi Barbara is Past
National Chaplain for
Bugles Across America, a
volunteer organization
that is dedicated to
honoring military
veterans by playing
TAPS at their funerals.
Rabbi Barbara is dedicated to discovery,
connection and continuity in Judaism.

Discovery  - As founder and director of the
Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria
(IjCCC), Rabbi Barbara's mission starts in
southern Italy where she works to help
"anousim" (Italians whose ancestors were
forced into conversion from Judaism) discover
and connect with their Jewish roots. The
IjCCC staff, including author and historian
Vincenzo Villella along with archivist and
demographer, Dr. Enrico Mascaro help lost
Jews determine the Jewish roots of their
surnames, while Rabbi Barbara extends the
hand of Jewish welcome to Italians and Italian
Americans who want to know more about their
Jewish heritage.

Connection - At Sinagoga Ner Tamid del
Sud, The "Eternal Light of the South," Italian
anousim find warmth and acceptance as they
learn about their Jewish heritage and
experience Jewish ritual and observance at
the first active synagogue in Calabria and
Sicily in 500 years, since Inquisition times. In
addition, families around the world participate
in a unique Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation
program that provides them with the Jewish
experience of a lifetime -- a glimpse back in
time to an era when Jews practiced in secret
and in the face of persecution, held on to
their Jewish roots.

Continuity - Back on US soil, Rabbi Barbara
will spend January, February and March 2014
as scholar-in-residence on the Kobernick
Campus at Sarasota, Florida. Here you'll find
Rabbi Barbara engaged with Jewish seniors
as they re-experience Jewish traditions, learn
and study together and deal with the changes
and challenges of growing older.

Rabbi Barbara was born in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania and is the daughter of a
liberator of the Buchenwald concentration
camp. She is a graduate of Indiana University
of Pennsylvania where she received the
Distinguised Alumni Award.  She holds a MS
from The George Washington University in
Washington DC and received “smeicha”
(rabbinic ordination) from The Rabbinical
Seminary International and the Rabbinical
Academy in New York City.  

Rabbi Barbara hosts The Radio Rabbi
Program, broadcast on
Talk Radio WLSS 930
AM in Sarasota, FL and podcast around the

Rabbi Barbara says, "I am grateful to serve
our Jewish "meshpucha" in ways that are
exciting and exhiliarting. Helping an Italian
family discover their Jewish heritage to
sharing memories with seniors, many who are
more than 100 years old, allow me to fully
engage in "L'dor v'dor," that special Jewish
experience of "from generation to
generation."  From the Unted States to the
Italian "boot,"  , these wonderful people
continue to enrich my life."
Raised in Pittsburgh, PA
© 2011 Rabbi Barbara Aiello, All rights reserved.
Rabbi Barbara participated in
the Distinguished Scholar
Series at Temple Shalom in
Silver Spring Maryland (Oct
2009) . Despite the snowy
evening, her topic, "The
Turbulent History of Jewish
Life in Italy," brought 300
participants to the lecture.

Rabbi Barbara explained
about the secret Jews of
Calabria and Sicily and how
Jewish traditions have
survived from Inquisition
times.  Dozens of guests
shared stories of their own
family's lost Jewish heritage
as Rabbi Barbara
encouraged them to
investigate and connect with
their own Jewish roots.
Before becoming a rabbi,
Barbara Aiello was creator
of The Kids on the Block
puppets, (1977) an
international company
dedicated to teaching
children and adults to
accept and appreciate
differences and
disabilities. The puppets
are in use today in every
US state and 33 countries.
Rabbi Barbara's father,
Antonio, played trumpet in
the Lodge Band of The
Italian Sons & Daughters of
America in Pittsburgh, PA.
Rabbi Barbara Aiello,  the
first woman rabbi in Italy,  
served the progressive
Jewish community in Milan
as  the country's first
non-orthodox rabbi. She  
continues to travel
throughout Italy as a
spokesperson for modern,
pluralistic Judaism.
Rabbi Barbara teaches
Hebrew to seniors at
Kobernick House.
About Rabbi Barbara