Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Discovering Jewish Palermo

We published a post about the Jewish side of Palermo over two years ago. In view of increasing interest in this subject, we've now published an article with a focus on the Jews of Palermo. It is an elusive topic, and in some ways an eclectic one. In recent years we've seen a certain amount of fantasy make its way into the field of Siculo-Judaic studies, and Sicily's monoglot "experts" are not always very informed or insightful; few local professors know enough about Judaism to interpret Sicily's Judaic history with any degree of accuracy. Yet there has been exceptional work done by distinguished scholars - most of them Jewish professors and researchers from outside Italy.

Jackie Alio, one of our writers, does personalized guided tours with a focus on Palermo's Jewish history. What's especially interesting is that her itineraries and comments include details based on original scholarly research which has not made its way into books or the internet. We won't reveal too much here (competing tour guides might "borrow" it and that would detract from the uniqueness of Jackie's tours), but in any tour of Sicily it's the "secret" details that spell the difference. And of course an understanding of the topic.

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