Rabbi Eliyahu Birnbaum

In Sicily, Jews Reach Out To Inquisition-Era Hidden Jews

09/15/2011
JTA

On her deathbed, Salvatore Zurzolo's grandmother confided a long-held secret: Their family was Jewish.

Zurzolo, of Calabria in southern Italy, had been flirting with Judaism for years, ever since choosing to stay with Parisian Jews during a Catholic youth trip to the city when he was 18.

After his grandmother’s confession, Zurzolo contacted the central Italian Jewish community in Rome and asked to begin the conversion process.

"For 20 years I was told it was not possible," Zurzolo said.

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