The Jewish History of Magnificent Malta premiered on Sunday as part of Jewish Life Television’s (JLTV) award-winning global travel series Air Land & Sea. 

Hosted by Brad Pomerance, this two-hour program explored the Jewish presence in Malta, which dates to the Roman period. This episode took the audience on a remarkable journey, uncovering the history of Maltese Jewry, believed to be one of the oldest Jewish communities in the entire world.

“Who knew that the Maltese islands in the middle of the Mediterranean would be so full of Jewish history,” asked Pomerance adding “we were completely blown away to actually see evidence of Jewish life in Malta dating back to the early centuries of the first millennia and so much more. And it was abundantly clear that the Maltese are so proud to showcase and promote this Jewish heritage as part of Malta’s 7,000 years of history.”

Malta Tourism Authority representative for North America Michelle Buttigieg said Malta is proud to introduce this Jewish heritage Malta experience in such depth through the lens of JLTV to its large North American audience.

“For the US & Canada, Malta is still an undiscovered gem, and even more so, its Jewish Heritage.” 

In the first episode which will be available to watch live on JLTV (www.jltv.tv/channels for channel position) or www.jltv.tv/watch, Pomerance and his crew explore and uncover some jaw-dropping historical proof of Jewish presence dating back to the turn of the Common Era:

  • St Paul’s Grotto, where Saint Paul was imprisoned in 60 AD prior to his execution in Rome;
  • St Paul’s Catacombs, which offers indisputable evidence of Jewish burials in Malta in the earliest centuries of the Common Era;
  • Comino, where the Pope exiled Rabbi Abraham Abulafia in the 13th century;
  • The medieval city of Mdina, which saw a Jewish community approaching a third of the population in the 1400s;
  • Malta’s cathedral archives, which maintain actual historical documents relating to Jews impacted by Malta’s Roman inquisition;
  • Malta’s national library, which keeps bona fide historical records relating to Jewish enslavement in Malta;
  • Malta’s inquisitor’s palace, which houses an actual inquisition tribunal, inquisition torture chamber, and inquisition prison cells
  • The Jewish sallyport, where Jewish slaves entered after their capture on the high seas
  • Malta’s Jewish cemeteries, including Kalkara Cemetery (1784-1830), Ta’ Braxia Cemetery (1830-1880) and the currently operational Marsa Cemetery. 

This first episode is the first of four featuring Malta. Later in 2022, JLTV will present:  

  • The History of Magnificent Malta: Meander around Magnificent Malta and uncover the deep, rich history of these mighty islands in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea;
  • Malta’s Modern Jewish Community: Meet Members of Malta’s Modern Jewish Community, who are keeping Judaism alive on these majestic islands in the Mediterranean Sea; and
  • Malta’s Movers & Shakers: Meet three of Malta’s finest, who have made it their lives’ mission to transform Malta into a must-see destination for tourists around the world.

The production is the result of collaboration between VisitMalta and JLTV.

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