International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Tribute to Emma Alatri Filmed at JCU

On the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, RAI, Italy’s State television, will broadcast a tribute to beloved teacher Emma Alatri (1926-2018), filmed at the Tiber Campus, where she had taught through 1979, long before it became part of JCU.

Emma Alatri

Emma Alatri (photo credit: Sorgente di vita – RAI 2)

The show is an episode of “Nuovi Eroi,” (New Heroes), a program that tells the story of the men and women who have received the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. This is an honor bestowed by the President of the Italian Republic, reserved for citizens who have distinguished themselves through acts of heroism, commitment to solidarity and integration, social inclusion, promotion of culture, and combating violence. In 2016, when Alatri was 90 years old, Italian President Sergio Mattarella awarded her the title of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito, “for having transmitted with her testimony and teaching, the values of freedom and democracy while rejecting hatred.”

Before it became part of John Cabot University, the Tiber Campus building was a school for Jewish children, the Istituto Vittorio Polacco. Emma Alatri taught in the school from 1945 through 1979 and spent eight years as principal. Alatri had managed to escape deportation after Fascist Italy promulgated laws to enforce racial discrimination against Italian Jews. She started teaching during a sensitive time for the Jewish community in Rome, which had just emerged from the Nazi-Fascist persecutions, and yet she managed to convey to her students a love of liberty and a sense of civic belonging.

President Franco Pavoncello says, “Emma Alatri was one of the symbols of the rebirth of the Roman Jewish community after the deportation of over a thousand Jews in 1943. For decades, she taught generations of Jewish children, communicating to them the importance of the community’s traditions but also the hope for a new life, in a free and democratic society. She left a legacy that will not be forgotten.”

The program will air on January 27th at 8:20 pm on Rai Tre and will also be available at Nuovi Eroi – RaiPlay.