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Honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli, ed. The Italian Jewish Experience. Stony Brook, NY: Forum Italicum Publishing, 2000. Pp. xi + 253.
Considerable scholarly attention has been concentrated of late on Italian Jewry. This timely book continues the trend with a collection of essays on Italian Jewish literature, history, and cultural expressions by authors from a variety of backgrounds and diverse--and occasionally opposing--points of view. The Italian Jewish Experience, edited by New York State Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli, grows out of a 1998 symposium of the same name organized by Mario Mignone through SUNY Stony Brook's Center for Italian Studies. Its twenty essays fall roughly into four categories: historical studies; literary criticism; anthropology and folklore; and personal reminscences.
Gaetano Cipolla opens a trilogy of chapters on Sicilian Jewry with his "Jews in Sicily," followed by Salvatore G. Rotella's historical "La Lumia and the Story of the Sicilian Jews," and Salvatore Salerno's illustrated "Devils without Horns: The Festa dei Giudei," a study of the origins and "retraditionalization" of the San Fratello's Easter week folk parade. Cipolla begins with the earliest known Jewish settlements in …