“Interreligious dialogue is one of the most important aspects of continuing to build a pluralistic and fully developed society,” said #Carolina Aisen, director of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain (FCJE) at the University of Navarra. Of a day of the Institute Culture and Society (ICS) on the Sephardic legacy.
Aisen stressed that in Spain there is dialogue between religions of Abrahamic tradition: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. “Although the same confessions have found areas in which to reflect and collaborate, the work of the Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation has been a great help. It is also necessary that these spaces for dialogue grow not only within the institutions, but at different levels and sectors of each of the confessions, “he said.
On the other hand, he emphasized the importance of education “not only understood as formal studies in schools – which also – but as mere learning”. For Carolina Aisen, “learning and knowing the other – their beliefs, customs, singularities … – will help us normalize the inclusion not only of the different confessions but also of the plural Spanish society.”
Regarding the theme of the day, he affirmed that “the Sephardic legacy teaches us that in this land lived several communities with different traditions and customs and in general in a certain harmony”. As he said, the current Spanish society “is heiress of that past, although it is not always known or internalized. It is therefore important that society can learn and learn from its own history. “
Jewish community in Spain: 40,000 people
The director of the FCJE mentioned that at present the Spanish Jewish community is formed by 40,000 people, with its institutions, schools and educational and social centers. “Although small in number, it is an active and lively community in 21st century Spain. With the same problems and vicissitudes that Spanish society in general. A plural community from all points of view and perfectly integrated into Spanish society”she said.
According to Aisen, some of the challenges they face are calls for oppositions and other examinations in public institutions on public holidays on the Jewish calendar, religious attendance and diet in public centers such as hospitals, prisons and military barracks ; The opening of places of worship; And the cession of plots within the municipal cemeteries for Jewish burials according to their tradition.
Finally, he referred to the increase in hate crimes both in Spain and in Europe. “Anti-Semitism and the apology of Nazism are part of the daily,” he lamented. In that line, he wanted to highlight the reform of the Penal Code last year: “It provides a powerful tool to persecute anti-Semitic discourse and hate crimes and for other discriminatory reasons.” He recalled that the FCJE has the Observatory of Antisemitism in Spain and prepares an annual report highlighting the events that occurred during the previous year.