ITALY

"We were boarding the Hydrofoil to sail to the Isle of Capri when suddenly one of the boatsmen began
to sing Hava Nagila. Everyone was pretty surprised. He smiled at the children and told them that he
was Jewish. He had recognized them as Jewish because of the name necklaces that they were
wearing, which had been bought in Israel. He told the families in our group the story of the Jews
from Capri and Sorrento, who were saved during World War II by the brave Italian partisans.
These heroes actually rescued the Jews from Northern Italy by hiding them in boats and
trucks covered with canvas, transporting them to Southern Italy and safety. They were
hidden on the island of Capri for the duration of the War. The Nazis never knew that the
Jews were hidden at Ana Capri. At the end of the War, these northern Italian Jews
remained on Capri, and attended services at the Sorrento synagogue.

"Throughout Tuscany we met with the descendants of the ancient Jews who
had escaped from Roman slavery when Titus and his armies destroyed the
Second Temple. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah services were celebrated near Rome,
at Ostia Antica, ruins of a 1st century BCE synagogue. In Siena, Ferrara
and Bologna we discovered fascinating Jewish history, and wonderful
art works everywhere in Northern Italy. Our Holocaust service was
held in Orvieto, where the Italian partisans rescued their Italian
Jewish compatriots."

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