The Jewish Palate: Jews of corfu

03.05.2011                      29.Nisan, 5771                      Tag 14 des Omer

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The Jewish Palate: Jews of corfu

Chef Dennis Wasko takes a closer look at the history and culinary tradition of the tiny Jewish Community of Corfu.

In the early morning hours of April 19, 2011, the first day of Passover, two men broke into the only remaining synagogue on the Island of Corfu.  They proceeded to pile about 30 religious books and documents, as well as a centuries old Torah scroll on the floor in front of the Bimah, and set them on fire.  This was the third Anti-Semitic attack against Greek Jews within the last two years.
The tiny Jewish community on Corfu has seen more than its fair share of hatred and violence.  From the very beginning of their habitation on the island, Jews have been persecuted in one way or another.  Anti-Semitic attacks were common in the 13th and 14th century.  Jews were also forced to row on galleys, were summoned on the Sabbath, and were forced to act as public executioners.  In 1406, Jews were forbidden to acquire land and had to wear a “badge” to distinguish them from the non-Jewish population.  In 1622, the Corfiote Jews were confined to a ghetto….