Sukkot Gives You Jewish Camping Under the Stars

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We are doing it here in Calabria and many of you are doing the same thing all over the world. When my daughter was a little girl she always called this holiday Jewish camping. For Jewish families, many of us will be “camping out” this coming week as we eat our meals under the little… Read more »

Rosh HaShanah Seder

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Rosh HaShanah Seder

The Rosh HaShanah Seder – Who Knew?  As an Italian Jew I always knew my traditions were different from  my Ashkenazi friends whose families came from Central and Eastern Europe. So different that I still blush when I think of the time when  I included couscous at my Passover seder, much to the horror of… Read more »

Conversion Italian Style (english & italian)

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Jewish Conversion Program Combines Technology and Tradition to Bring B’nei Anusim Back Home  “I researched my family name and found out that its origin is Sephardic. This was one more confirmation that a Jewish soul was present in my family, confirming that my interest in Judaism is a true feeling to get back to my… Read more »

Tisha B’Av Story

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Tisha B’Av Story

When B’nei Anusim Are Told That the Real Jews Are the Dead Ones   Emma D. (not her real name) is a Bat Anusim – a Hebrew term which translates as “the daughter of the forced ones.” Her Italian Jewish roots, tangled as they are, also run deep.  Emma traces her ancestry back nearly 500… Read more »

Ice Cream and Jews

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Ice Cream’s Jewish Connection It’s the season to enjoy summertime’s favorite treat – ice cream. It’s cool, it’s delicious and it’s Jewish! Thanks to an article by Joan Nathan (Tablet Magazine) we can start by introducing Reuben Mattus who began his career in the ice cream business in the 1920s when he was only ten… Read more »

Chuppah History and Traditions

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Chuppah History

…Chuppah History from Italy and Around the World Of all of the traditions that define the Jewish wedding ceremony, the chuppah, or bridal canopy, is one of the most symbolic and important. The canopy itself is a symbol of God’s love above the married couple as well as the home that they will now share… Read more »

Ferramonti

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Ferramonti

Ferramonti Internment Camp The story of the Ferramonti Internment Camp is a story of Jewish survival thanks to the efforts of Italian soldiers and impoverished Italian villagers who worked together to save nearly 4,000 Jews. Located in the province of Cosenza on the Calabria border, Ferramonti was a camp like none other. Families stayed together… Read more »

What Makes Jews So Smart?

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And the Answer Is… The Bar and Bat Mitzvah!   “I’m pooped!” Natalie collapsed into her easy chair and fanned herself with her ever-present apron as she recounted her latest trip “up north.”  “My son, he’s an editor and my daughter, she’s a photographer with some of her pictures in National Geographic, and their children, what can… Read more »

Elvis Presley Was Jewish

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elvis presley was jewish

He passed away 40 years ago on August 16, 1977. On the Hebrew calendar the date was the second day in the Hebrew month of Elul, 5737.  Why a “yahrzeit” for Elvis? As unusual as it may seem, a little known fact about Elvis Presley is that, by the Jewish law of matrilineal descent, Elvis… Read more »

Italian Wedding

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Planning Your Destination Wedding in Italy If you have chosen Bella Italia for your destination wedding, you’ve chosen one of the most beautiful places in the world to “tie the knot.”  Whether it’s a Roman terrace with a Coliseum view, a peaceful setting on Lake Como, Florence’s Boboli  Gardens, the rolling hills of Tuscany, or… Read more »