In the heart of Rome's historic ghetto, beneath the grandeur of the Great Synagogue, I had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Viktor Fadlun, the esteemed head of the Jewish community in Rome. As we entered his office, surrounded by the echoes of history within the walls of the magnificent synagogue, it became clear that this meeting was not just a conversation but a journey through the challenges and triumphs of the local Jewish community.

Our discussion touched upon various pressing issues, the foremost being the growing specter of antisemitism in Italy. Mr. Fadlun shared his concerns about the evident decline in the number of visitors to the ghetto and the subsequent impact on Jewish businesses, particularly the renowned Jewish restaurants that were suffering from a decline in tourism. The once bustling streets of the historic district seemed emptier, a stark contrast to its vibrant past.

However, amid these challenges, Mr. Fadlun spoke optimistically about the positive response from Italian politicians, notably Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who demonstrated a strong pro-Israel stance. He expressed gratitude for the security forces diligently working to protect and reassure the Jewish community, sending a clear message that they were watching over them during these uncertain times.

The conversation delved into a recent event at the Great Synagogue, where family members of those kidnapped in Gaza came together for support. Mr. Fadlun described the moving experience as the entire community rallied in solidarity, transcending religious and cultural boundaries. It was a testament to the unity and strength that can be found within the close-knit Jewish community in Rome.

Mr. Viktor Fadlun emerged as a personable and respected figure, not only within the Jewish community but also among non-Jewish residents of Rome. His leadership style and commitment to fostering understanding and cooperation were evident throughout our conversation. The Great Synagogue served as a fitting backdrop, symbolizing the rich history and enduring spirit of the Jewish community in Rome.

In conclusion, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Viktor Fadlun for graciously sharing his time and insights. His dedication to addressing the challenges faced by the Jewish community and fostering unity within the broader society is truly commendable. As the echoes of our conversation lingered in the majestic halls of the Great Synagogue, it was evident that under Mr. Fadlun's leadership, the Jewish community in Rome stands resilient and united in the face of adversity.