SICILIAN ADVENTURE TOUR BY BILL GENOVA OCT 13TH TO 23RD

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JEWISH PAST

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JEWISH PAST
JEWISH SICILIAN ARTICLE IN CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS BY BILL GENOVA
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The oldest Jewish Community in the world is in Italy.

Although most of us think of Italy as the cradle of Catholicism, in fact, the oldest Jewish community in the world is in Rome. Jews have been in Italy since the 2nd century B.C.E. Their initial arrival from Palestine was because Judah Maccabeus formed an alliance with Rome. In 70 A.C.E. Jews arrived in large numbers many prisoners of war after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

 

Italian Jews fall into 3 major strains. The Italkim are Jews who have been in Italy since the 2nd century B.C.E. The Sephardim came from Spain and Portugal after the Spanish Inquisition of 1492. Finally, there are the Ashkenazim, who came from Central Europe in the 14th century.

 

In the earliest times, the largest Jewish communities were in the south especially Sicily. Estimates place the Jewish population of Sicily between 20,000 to 100,000. From the 8th to 15th century the Jews thrived under the Ottomans and then the Normans. They were active in the silk and cloth trade and in the practice of medicine. The majority were artisans: weavers, dyers, cobblers, silver workers, blacksmiths, and carpenters.

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Tombstone Sicilian Noble womn in 4 launguages including Hebrew

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Marker est in 1992 welcoming Jews back to Salemi

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Mikvah in Siracusa

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Jewish gravestone fround in Siracusa

*ALL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS BY ONTARIO SARRACINI TRAVEL TICO REGISTRATION NO. 50014459.

Personal tours with Bill Genova historian, tour guide and story teller as your host.