15 Apr Kivunim students visit Steri Palace in Sicily
Kivunim is a gap year program that brings pre-college American Jews to Jewish communities around the world to learn about their roots. The latest Kivunim cohort found themselves recently in Palermo where they met with Shavei Israel’s emissary to the Bnei Anousim in Sicily and southern Italy, Rabbi Pinhas Punturello. Together, they visited the Steri Palace, the infamous prison that served as the headquarters in Palermo for the Inquisition some 500 years ago and that functioned as a holding cell for Jews awaiting their fate in the terrible auto-da-fe – execution by burning.
“Suddenly, they all started to sing together – Ana B’koach,” Rabbi Punturello reports, referring to the hymn that is included just before Lecha Dodi during the Kabbalat Shabbat prayers on Friday night. He quickly turned on his video camera and sent us this inspiring video.