European Days of The Jewish Culture in Spain

sephardic days 2018This has been announced by the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, which has advanced that this year the activities will revolve around ‘storytelling’, which serves as a tool for the dissemination of the Jewish historical heritage in Europe.

Specifically, in Barcelona will take place on September 2nd will be an open day of the Center MUHBA El Call and the Domus de Sant Honorat; while in Calahorra (La Rioja), on Saturday 8 will be inaugurated the exhibition ‘Shalom! Sepharad ‘and on Sunday 23rd, there will be a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter and the Cathedral, to contemplate its Sephardic documentary heritage; Hebrew and Arabic writing workshops; the concert ‘The Spain of the three cultures’; and a dinner tasting skewers in the Sephardic style.

On the other hand, Cáceres will host a guided visit to the New and Old Jewish quarters of the city on September 2. It will be an open day of various enclaves related to the Jewish heritage (the Island Palace, the Interpretation Center of the Bujaco Tower, the tourist center Baluarte de los Pozos and the Center for the Dissemination of Holy Week), and two exhibitions (‘Encuentro en Sefarad: from light to secret’ and ‘Jewish Quarters in Spain and Portugal’) can be visited at the Palace of the Island and the Baluarte de los Pozos, respectively.

Córdoba celebrates the VI Day in the Sephardic Autumn program, which will take place from September 1 to 23. This new edition will reflect the theme of the Storytelling, the Oral Narrative, and among the more than fifty activities scheduled, highlight the days of open doors on day 2 of the Al-Andalus Alive Museum, the Synagogue, the Archaeological Museum and the House de las Cabezas or the photographic exhibition Armonías de Azul y Ocre: Ritmo Vital and Sephardic Festival, which can be visited from September 1 to 23 and from Monday to Friday at the Rey Heredia Cultural Space.

Also, in Estella (Navarra) throughout the weekend you can visit the exhibition ‘Refranero popular Sephardic’ in the courtyard of the House of Culture Fray Diego de Estella and on Sunday September 2 will take place the guided tour ‘Visiting the aljamas’ .

SEPHARDY GASTRONOMIC DAYS

In Jaen, gastronomy will be one of the protagonists of the Days, which will last between September 1 and 9, with the celebration at the Taberna Pilar del Arrabalejo and the Parador de Jaén of the Sephardic Gastronomic Days.

Also in the capital Jaén, on September 2 there will be a guided tour of the Jewish Jaén; On the 6th at 8:00 pm, the conference ‘Telling stories: legends and traditions of the Judería de Jaén’ will take place at the Mudéjar Hall of the Municipal Palace of Culture, and the same location will host on Friday 7 at 9:00 pm the screening of the documentary ‘The last Sephardi’. On Saturday 8, at 9:00 pm, the Tourdion Chamber Choir will give the concert ‘Sefarad en el corazón’, in the Patio of the Municipal Palace of Culture.

From Friday 31 to Sunday 2, at the Jardines del Cid in the city of León there will be workshops on medieval games, as well as a theatrical tour of the Jewish Quarter, which will depart every day from the Plaza de San Martín. In the Palacio del Conde Luna, the Teatro Abierto will perform the Desiguales work on Friday the 31st at 8:00 pm, and Milo Ke Mandarini will offer a concert on Saturday the 1st at 8:30 pm.

In Lucena (Córdoba), in addition to the exhibition ‘Sayings in ladino’ that can be seen in different locations in the city – Castillo del Moral, Municipal Public Library, Palace of the Counts of Santa Ana and Casa de los Mora – there is activities that will occupy the whole month of September.

In Monforte de Lemos (Lugo), on September 2 there will be guided tours to the Jewish quarter of the town, which will depart at 11.30 and 6.00 pm from the Municipal Tourism Office (in the Rúa Comercio), and a concert of traditional music Iberian and Sephardic by Paco Díez (September 2 at 8 pm at the House of Culture Poeta Lois Pereiro).

In Oviedo (Asturias), the Beit Emunáh Synagogue (Fontán Street, 11), will open its doors on the 2nd to host an exhibition of books and a session of Jewish storytellers (from 12 to 14 hours), in addition to the exhibition of the ” Sephardic sayings “on the balconies of the Casina throughout the weekend.

Tarazona (Zaragoza), meanwhile, will organize a guided tour of its Jewish quarter, which will start at the Tourism Office of the town on Sunday 2 at 10.30.

In Segovia, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 (1:00 pm) there will be the guided tour ‘Meet the Jewish Quarter’ through the streets of the Jewish quarter, evoking the Jewish legacy of the city through the visit of the Judería Educational Center and of the San Andrés Gate.

In the afternoon, at 5:00 pm, there will be a tour ‘From the synagogue to the cemetery’, an emotional itinerary recalling the daily life of the Segovian Jews. On Sunday, September 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Spain aided to thousands of Jews to save their lives

ESPANA-AYUDO-JUDIOS-CLANDESTINA-MELILLA_EDIIMA20170409_0114_4There was a few years ago, when the clandestine passage to the land promised through Melilla was consented by Spain, instead of curbing it with a fence, because then what it was about was to help those fleeing from neighboring Morocco : An exodus of at least 5,000 Jews.

A story that until recently was almost unknown even in Melilla itself, as told to Efe the president of the Socio-Cultural Association “Mem Guímel”, Mordejay Guahnich, and the historian who coordinates the Sephardic Project in Melilla (Sefamel), Maria Elena Fernández.

Spain allowed some 250,000 Jews to flee clandestinely from Morocco through Ceuta and Melilla in the middle of the last century.

“Something we have uncovered now to make it known” in Melilla, explains the president of this association on Sephardic Jewish culture.

The regime of Franco was little friend of the newly created State of Israel, but also did not see anything well to Morocco after its independence of Spain and France, reason why it did not persecute these Jews, whom in Ceuta they were even applauded to them when they arrived .

But in Melilla, the other Spanish city in North Africa, “it was a very quiet step” and not even the Jews of the city “knew they had arrived,” explains Mordejay Guahnich.

“That clandestine passage for Melilla was totally secret”, he emphasizes.

The Moroccan Jews arrived at night and on the following day departed for Gibraltar, by boat mainly, from there to continue their journey to Marseilles (France) and finally to the Israeli port of Haifa.

The dates of that exodus and the names of its protagonists are recorded in military archives in Melilla, where “Mem Guímel” has been working, looking at about a hundred declassified documents, although now many have been re-classified.

Through them he has discovered that there were at least 5,000 who passed through the city.

The documents themselves, although detailing names and dates, qualify this step of clandestine, underlines Fernandez.

The historian remembers that as now with the subsahariana immigration on the fence, also then “the pressure was very much” in the border.

Only at that time there was a kind of “tacit agreement” and instead of impeding the passage, the security forces allowed.

“Possibly we did not bother because they were not going to stay here,” he says, and even in those documents there are testimonies of thanking the support of the Civil Guard.

At the beginning, around 1955, Morocco let them leave with a passport, but then realizes that it is losing a lot of people and decides to cut off that migratory flow “of people who went on vacation and did not return”, comments the researcher.

He stops giving passports and it is the Mosad, one of the Israeli secret services, that comes to the rescue of the Hebrews who want to leave at all costs.

They left behind pots on the fire, pretending that they had not left their houses, but in fact they had left alone with what was left in a suitcase.

Other families were divided not to leave all together and not to raise suspicions.

They arrived in groups of 30 to 40 from Casablanca, Tangier or Fez the majority, traveling hundreds of kilometers in buses that left them near Melilla “with great danger, because to be in those moments stopped in Morocco it was equivalent to him to spend several years of jail” , Reveals the historian.

They said they came to weddings, religious holidays or to visit relatives, in a drip that from 1956 to 1962 saw at least 5,000 per Melilla.

“In Melilla there were none left, they spent 24 hours sparingly,” in Fernandez’s words, because their goal was Israel, although afterwards life would take them to some even to America.

“Mem Guímel” has contacted them in Israel, but others have found them in Panama, Venezuela or Argentina.

A misfortune had to come, the tragic sinking of Price in 1961, one of the ships fleeing from Melilla, to break the news of this irregular immigration and unleash the wrath of Morocco, with the consequent conflict with Spain for consenting to it .

The Price is still not clear and that is why Semafel is still investigating his story, as well as the thousands of Jews who once had a pleasant step in Melilla to their dreams.

Students from University of Viena visit the Jewish Community of Ceuta

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUZ2sxn2VIA&feature=youtu.be

A group of students from the University of Vienna have started their visit in Ceuta to learn first hand the coexistence between different cultures. They will be in the city for a week, as they did three years ago in Melilla.
The group has visited the Hindu Temple, the Muley El Mehdi Mosque and the Bet-El Synagogue with the collaboration of the  “Coexistence Prize Fundation”.

Un grupo de estudiantes de la Universidad de Viena han iniciado su visita en Ceuta para conocer de primera mano la convivencia entre diferentes culturas. Estarán en la ciudad durante una semana, como ya hicieron hace tres años en Melilla.
Con la colaboración de la Fundación Premio Convivencia el grupo ha visitado el templo hindú, la mezquita Muley El Mehdi y la Sinagoga de Bet-El.