Tag Archives: Mixed Messages

Jewish-Italian memoirist Eleanor Foa

In her memoir, Eleanor Foa addresses her family’s power, passion and paradox, and discovers deep literary significance in her Italian-Jewish ancestry. Being so strongly identified with Catholicism, Italy may strike the casual observer as inextricably connected to Christianity. But a closer look reveals that Italian Jews had much to do with the region’s history, culture and proud traditions. How much so? As Rabbi Barbara Aiello explained in a past Lou&A column, the very name “Italia” is of Hebrew origin. The first of the Jewish diaspora, on seeing the peninsula’s beautiful, misty coast, exclaimed “Aiee-tal-ya!”, a Hebrew phrase that means “the …

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