Group organizes Jewish seminar in Italy
By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
September 7, 2011 17:45
Dozens of people including Christian-born Italians who believe they are descendants of forcibly converted Jews took part in a two-day seminar held in Syracuse, Italy that ended on Wednesday.
The gathering, organized by Shavei Israel in conjunction with the Union of Italian Jewish Committees, featured lectures and classes on a range of Jewish religious and cultural issues.
“In recent years, a growing number of Italian Marranos as well as others of Jewish descent throughout southern Italy and Sicily have begun to return to their roots,” said Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund, using the term for Jews who secretly clung on to their religious beliefs after having converted to Christianity.
“We want to extend a hand to them and welcome them back to our people,” he said.