Geniza for Ostia
Ostia Antica, Rome


Damaged torah scrolls, prayer books and other religious materials are required by Jewish law to be buried. The geniza is a depository, usually located in a synagogue, where such religious items can be stored before receiving a proper interment.

The synagogue in Ostia Antica is the second oldest in the western world; it was excavated in 1961-62. 

Over many years, I have collected from Iraq fragments of centuries-old torahs, damaged prayer books, spiritual texts, and broken Kiddush cups used on the sabbath, amassing what I thought would become an archive of Iraqi-Jewish history, hoping to revive what is lost. In reality, however, it seems I built a geniza.