The session on Sicilian Jewry will reveal the little known and almost forgotten cultural heritage of Jewish communities on the island that have long ceased to exist and their memory has almost faded away. The Jews’ situation in medieval Sicily was a highly fluid one, riddled with ambivalence, the blurring of boundaries, cooperation as well as resistance, and a creative responsiveness to the “other” in Sicilian society. A few Jews were involved in medicine, trade, astronomy and mathematics, but most of them were poor artisans, craftsmen and laborers or farm-hands. We will meet the famous messianic figure of Sicily and some of the Jews who supported him.
In English I Sunday I Jan. 16 I 8pm (1pm EST)
This series will take us to strong and vibrant Jewish communities in the medieval period in Spain, Provence and Portugal. Each lecture comprises a detailed look at the history of these communities, their prominent members and scholars, how they functioned, their defining characteristics, and any visual remains of their presence still extant in these places.