Former leader of Milan Jewish community dies of coronavirus

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Former leader of Milan Jewish community dies of coronavirus

Michele Sciama, 79, passed away due to the infection while he was organising a fundraising concert for the Jewish centre

Michele Sciama (Facebook)
Michele Sciama (Facebook)

Michele Sciama, a former secretary-general of the Jewish Community of Milan — the city’s local Jewish communal life organisation — has died of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Sciama, known to his friends and family as Micky, was 79 when he died Monday morning. He is survived by his wife, Viviane, and two daughters, Dalia and Stefania, the Italian-Jewish Moked news site wrote in an obituary.

Gadi Luzzatto Voghera, the director of the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation, an organisation that documents Nazi war crimes, wrote in Moked that before he became ill with the virus, Sciama was working on organising a fundraising concert for the centre.

“We will perform the concert in his name and in his memory, to honour his memory and to fight that virus that not only produces statistics, but deprives us of the presence of people, friends and brethren,” Luzzatto Voghera wrote after Sciama’s death.

Sciama had been heavily involved in Jewish education and his passing is a “great loss for the community,” Claudia Bagnarelli, a former principal at the Jewish school of Milan, which has about 500 students, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Italy on Monday had about 28,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 400 new ones discovered that day. Italy has more confirmed cases than any other country outside China, where the pandemic started. Lombardy, the region whose capital is Milan, is the epicentre of the outbreak, which has overwhelmed health services and morgues.

About 2,500 people have died from the virus in Italy.

Reports about Sciama’s death did not mention burial arrangements. Members of Sciama’s family could not be immediately reached.

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