Vincento D’lessandro always told the same story to the little ones…

”That rickety boat must have carried half the island! And the rats! More rats then people… not a single bite of food, unless you brought your own along. Your great-great ‘Nonna wasn’t in the best of health, so she sent me alone… I remember it like yesterday. We had to pull up roped buckets from the ocean for drinking water. Filthy I say…!”

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”Baruch attah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam. . . .”

Rebeccah D’lessandro had become a bat mitzvah, just as her great-grandfather had always desired. He was always worried his family would convert to the typical choice for Italian-Americans; Catholicism. You know, you just didn’t hear of many Sicilian-Catholics. But that suited Beccah just fine – she was always the odd one out. Misunderstood for most of her existence up until this point, the ceremony of most 13 year old Jewish girls was not that different - but the Oneg which boasted biscotti, pizzelles, and espresso was a bit odd.

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The next 13 years weren’t as accepting as the last 13, and Beccah found herself to be 26 and a fledgling law student in the capital city. For her, there were two choices – the straight and narrow, or the corrupt and disgraceful. She chose the first option, which dictated the she leave her family behind. Italian Jews pushed two stereotypes together into one ****** up package – power beyond understanding and the wealth to make it something dangerous. The D’lessandro family was a New Jersey powerhouse who dodged accusation after accusation and covered their tracks in everything they did.

It just wasn’t for her.

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She chose a different life, in a different place, but she was a JAP in the truest sense of the word no matter how she tried to escape it. And on top of all that – she was a rich Italian.. even though she didn’t want the life that was hers, did that mean she could flee the criminal mind and shady background?