Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sicily's New Synagogue

The city of Siracusa, in antiquity Sicily's most important Greek city and home to its largest Jewish community, again has a synagogue after five centuries. There is a Reform congregation in Calabria; the one in Siracusa is affiliated with the Orthodox community in Rome.

This revived community has made use of the ancient mikveh (ritual bath) in the city's Ortygia district, and a few of its "Returning Jews" are Sicilians descended from the Jews in Sicily before the expulsions and forced conversions of 1493. Tracing Sicilian Jewish genealogy is rarely simple, but in some cases these families might be described as anusim or even Crypto Jews. Labels aside, they're part of an important faith tradition that was hidden or lost for too long.

For more information visit their site, SiciliaEbraica.It.

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