Mr. David Glassman, originally from the U.S.A. but living for the last 14 years in Cassino, next to Rome, passed away at the Jewish Hospital of Rome on the 23rd of Tammuz 5773, July 1st 2013. Not being a member of the Jewish Community of Rome and without any proof of his Jewishness, Rabbi Lazar made it possible for him to receive a Jewish burial.
David was a genius and a telecom engineer, he spoke seven languages including Hebrew, he was well versed in Judaism and had 3 patents on his name.
While living in Cassino, he became ill and would frequent the S. Benedetto Pharmacy to purchase his medications. He became friendly with the owner Marina Masia and the other employees: Francesca Campagna and Michela Nardone. At the beginning of May 2013, his situation deteriorated and he wasn’t able anymore to go to the pharmacy so the employees took it upon themselves to deliver the medications at no extra cost.
One day in mid-June, news arrived that David was recovered at the local hospital. That next day, Brenda, the wife of David, left for the United States leaving David with no money.
David was being assistent in the hospital also by the son of Michela, Lorenzo Vaccarella, who was interning there, Cecilia and Francesca also continue to assist him by bringing him food. David formulated a request that he wants to be with his people in a Jewish cemetery. Marina, the owner of the pharmacy, contacted then a Jewish friend of hers, Mrs. Giulia Sonnino, who put the President of the Jewish Community of Rome, Mr. Riccardo Pacifici, in touch with the hospital and arranged for an urgent transfer to the Jewish Hospital of Rome where he passed away three days later, although the request came on friday, Mr. Pacifici was able to transfer him immediately, pushing off the transfer would have been to late. Mr. Pacifici also asked an english speaking member of the Jewish Community and now President of the board of the Jewish hospital, Dr. Larry Kay to visit David. Dr. Kay was the last person David met.
With no proof of jewishness, the Rabbinical Office of Rome couldn’t approve David’s burial in the Jewish cemetery, but thanks to information received from David’s mother, Nancy, through her niece Barbara Weiss, and thanks to the collaboration of Rabbi Joseph Gopin of Chabad in West Hartford, Cheryl Goldberg and Jane Zande of the administration of Congregation Beth Israel in Connecticut, Rabbi Lazar, the director of Chabad Piazza Bologna in Rome, was able to receive the documents (pictured below is the burial information of David’s grandmother), that enabled David to be approved for a proper Jewish burial.
The Jewish Community of Rome, through the secretary Emanuele Di Porto and the Rabbinical Office headed by the Chief Rabbi Riccardo Shmuel Di Segni, Rabbi Ariel Di Porto, Rabbi Gad Eldad and Maskil Joseph Pino Arbib paid and took care of the burial in the Jewish cemetery through the funeral agency IFI.