Crypto-Jewish Tzedakah?

from Haaretz:

Shavei Israel is planning on sending an emissary this year to southern Italy to see if there is a connection between the locals’ religious roots and their charitable ways. Although Italian Jews number only an estimated 40,000, it appears that no fewer than 80,000 Italians choose annually to give donations to local Jewish charities.

The Jewish community made the curious discovery that most tax donors to Jewish charities come from Italy’s south, even though most Italian Jews live in the north, by analyzing public financial records.