City in the province of Venice, Italy. Here, as in all the surrounding places, Jews were living at a very early period, engaged in commerce and industry, and especially in money-lending, as is shown by contemporary documents dating back to 1264. In the first half of the fifteenth century, they formed a large and prosperous community. Subsequently they were persecuted; and, in 1468, a decree of perpetual banishment was issued against them. Nevertheless they returned, only to be again banished by the city council in 1481.

No documents are extant to show the existence of a Jewish congregation, recognized and regulated by law. The Jews were obliged to live huddled together in one little street, still called "Callesella dei Zudii"; but, as their numbers increased, more spacious quarters were assigned to them, which popular tradition still calls "II Ghetto."

While some of the Jewish families, Bassan, Bassano, Bassani, may have been called from this city, the name is more probably of Hebrew origin. Some slight notices of the Jews of Bassano may be found in the rare pamphlet of Brenteri, "Fondazione del Monte di Pietà," 1882. There are no longer any Jews at Bassano, nor are there any traces of a synagogue or a cemetery.

G. V. C.
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