The Malta Tourism Authority, in partnership with Exclusively Malta, has launched a new program that infuses the Jewish Heritage Experience into the traveler’s typical Maltese experience.
Jewish roots in Malta date back to the fourth and fifth centuries during the Roman period, as is exemplified by the several Jewish Catacombs with drawings of the Jewish Menorah at St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat. Presently, the Jewish community in Malta is rather small, but is vibrant.
Parts of the Jewish Heritage Experience include visiting old landmarks and signs, like in the walled city of Mdina where the Jews at one point made up a third of the population. In Valletta, Malta’s Capital and the European Capital of Culture for 2018, there are old-world Jewish signs as well. Exclusively Malta can arrange for travelers to meet the local Jewish community and to attend Sabbath and holiday prayers at Malta’s synagogue. Two years ago, Chabad set up the only kosher restaurant in Malta, currently centrally located in the local Jewish St. Julian’s.
Also, there are three Jewish cemeteries in Malta, which can be visited through prior arrangements with the community leader. Inscribed on the tombstones are stories of soldiers who fought in Europe during WWI but were buried in Malta.