The Jewish Ghosts of Palermo

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife

There was a Jewish presence in Sicily for centuries, possibly from before the birth of Jesus. The Jews were the only outsiders who made their homes in Sicily and became part of her population without invading. They simply turned up, fitted in and made themselves indispensable.

IMG_20150416_110436 Possibly the most important Jewish street in Palermo, the Via dei Cartari was where all the Jewish scribes drew up any contract needed by the citizens of Palermo

The Jews were the literate and educated members of society and they also taught their children all the different languages they knew. This guaranteed them work as interpreters and scribes.

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In Palermo, they lived and set up their shops in the Jewish quarter of Palermo, where they also build very modest synagogues, and schools to pass on their knowledge to their children. They were the educated and wealthy elite. Their skills made them indispensable to successive…

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