Jewish tour

For many years, history books shipped over the island’s Jewish presence as if trying to cancel it. Sicily didn’t know the Jewish community was a part of its history: Jews were here for 15 centuries! Documents show they were in Sicily at least since the first century A.D. They came from North Africa but deeply rooted in the island. They are believed to have lived here, without interruption, from the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem (70 A.D) to the Spanish edict. On March 31, 1492, in the newly conquered city of Granada, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile issued their Decree of expulsion of all Jewish communities from Sicily. Historians say the edict affected at least 30000 Sicilian Jews and some of them decided to stay converting to Catholicism against their will (the marranos). The southern of Sicily offers various Jewish sites, many harboring signs of past suffering. Visit the Giudecca, Syracuse’s ancient Jewish quarter, with its synagogue or Mesquita (the Arabic word for both synagogues and churches) transformed into the church of San Giovannello, as attested by two Jewish inscriptions, and the oldest Jewish ritual bath or Miqweth, located below Palazzo casa Bianca. Discover the ancient Jewish cemetery of Noto Antica and the so - called artichoke caves, full of some Menorah’s graffiti carved on the rock. Don’t miss Modica and the Jewish quarter Cattidduni (from the Arabic word Harat al Yahud), where the most shocking pogrom happened on August 15, 1474, on occasion of the Assumption of our Lady: it’s filled with narrow streets whose names still recall some of that history. A special tour to recover our Jewish identity that includes reacquainting Sicilian citizen with a history that many didn’t even know they had

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