The First Mitzvaton took place in Madrid, in 2009, ten years ago, when the Jewish Community of Madrid (CJM) decided to organize a day to involve anyone belonging to this beautiful Congregation to participate on any of several proposals in order to accomplish mitzvot, meaning performing actions dedicated to help your community, environment or any other area of our day to day life.
This year the Mistvaton has been again organised but they have had the initiative to set the date between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. As most of you know, these days are called “Atseret Yeme Tshuva” (“The 10 days of return”). The day started in the JCC (Jewish Community Center) in Balmes Street of Madrid with a global Shachrit and Selichot, conducted by Rabbi Moshe Bendahan SHLITA, Chief Rabbi of Madrid Jewish Community and FCJE(Council of Jewish Communities of Spain) and after that there was a quick breakfast and everyone went stright to their tasks. There were many ways to be involved in this day, such as visiting old people of our congregation who live alone, fixing up damaged prayer book from different synagogues, or even participating in giving used clothing taken from The Jewish Community of Madrid to a Catholic Parrish in Madrid, giving with this a sample of intercooperation.
The Alcala Gate (La Puerta del Alcalá) is one of the most visited and iconic monuments in Madrid. Located in Plaza de la Independencia and just in front of the main entrance to Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park), this monument is the remaining of the Walls around city during the Kingdom of Felipe IV (Phillip IV) from 1625 to 1868. These were not defensive walls, but essentially served for fiscal and surveillance purposes: to control the access of goods to the city, ensure the collection of taxes, and to monitor who went in and out of Madrid. The materials used for construction were brick, mortar and compacted earth. From the arquitechtonical point of view it has a very singular construction as both sides are different.
It is always a special spot , full packed of tourists and locals trying to get a nice shot, and yesterday I was able to catch this image and wanted to share with you all.
Are you still thinking about visiting Madrid, Toledo and other cities? Come on, visit and you will be able to tell by yourself that you have visited one of teh most amzing cities in Europe!!
Those people visiting Madrid las weekend had opportunity to visit the Chocolate Fair (CHOCOMAD), a place for Chocolate lovers.
Personally, chocolate is not my favourite dessert (I prefer main courses more than desserts) but I have to say that it was a nice overview about how many different possibilities and World origins we may find for something like Chocolate, whcih is not so simple as we may think.
Red de Juderías (Spanish Netwrod of Jewish Quarters) was promoted participating on October 4th, in the “Jornada de la Cultura Sephardi” that was held at the Cervantes Institute in Tokyo, with the attendance of more than two hundred people.
The Jornada de la Cultura Sephardic is an initiative of the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute for the joint promotion of the Jewish heritage of Spain, and has been held previously in Berlin and New York.
In Tokyo, the main event was the inauguration of the Discover Sepharad photographic exhibition, a show featuring 20 images that capture the soul of the Jewish quarters of the cities that make up the Network, accompanied by a small text that highlights the Jewish essence of each of them. The exhibition can be visited until next October 18.
The Sephardic culture was also present in the concert of Valladolid musician Paco Díez, with his Kantes al Shabbat, popular festivals and popular Sephardic gastronomy, all flavored with very Spanish and Balkan sounds. Díez made enjoy with his extensive recital and his experience collected in the 17 albums he has recorded and more than two thousand five hundred concerts he has made throughout his career.
Those attending the conference were also able to enjoy a tasting of Sephardic sweets accompanied by kosher wine and a corner of Sephardic literature with several books published in Judeo-Spanish, among which were classics such as El Princhipiko or Un Marido entre Dos Muzeres.
Marta Puig, Manager of the Network of Jewish Quarters in Spain, highlighted the importance of knowing the Sephardic culture, which in turn represents an important part of the history of Spain. “We must do everything possible to not let the ladino, or the Sephardic literary creation, that were cultivated for long centuries in Spain, be lost so that future generations can appreciate them,” said Marta Puig.
I had opportunity yesterday of visiting the opening of the Temporary exhibition of Moises Bentata and Moshe Castel at Centro Sefarad Israel in Madrid. It was not only an honour but a very special feeling to see how a friend of mine has converted into a well named artist.
The opening was attended by the directive staff of Centro Sefarad Israel of Madrid -Esther Bendahan- , many friends of Moises and some other artists (as Daniel Quintero) who showed their support to this Exhibition.
All my best Wishes to Moises Bentata in his professional challenge of arts.
D.Guillermo Martínez, Ceuta Senator, accompanied me during the act
On Monday, January 29, an act in memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust took place in the Senate of Madrid. The Act was chaired by D.Pío García Escudero, President of the Senate, and some of the speakers were, in addition to Mr.Escudero himself, the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the Chief Rabbi of Spain -Rab Moshe Bendahan-, The Minister of Justice of the Spanish Government, Mr. Rafael Catalá, the Director of the Institute of Gypsy Culture and the President of the Amical Association Mathausen.
Six candles were lit on the spot by representatives of the different collectives.
The act was emotional and very solemn.
The Jewish Community of Madrid has announced that it will award its 2017 Or Januká Award to the State Security Forces and Corps for its defense of democracy and constitutional order and for “their risky work”.
According to a statement, the work of the Security Forces and Corps allows Jewish life in the capital “to develop with total normality and security.”
The Jewish Community of Madrid has also granted the Queen Sofia the Centennial Prize which commemorates a century of the official return of Jewish presence in Madrid since its expulsion in 1492. “This prize is awarded for its dedication to a democratic Spain and for its proximity to Jewish culture, “says the Jewish Community.
This time the expo is enriched with a panel dedicated to football in Melilla and the inaugural event will feature the intervention of former footballer Antonio Potous.
While the city of Tetuán was part of the Spanish protectorate of Morocco (from 1912 to 1956), Atletico Tetuán became a member of the Primera División of Spanish football, specifically in the 1951-52 season. Atlético Tetuan, who also had a basketball section, played for six years in the second Spanish Division and five more in the Third. Today, in Tetuan there is still a great passion for Spanish football and a very strong sentimental nexus with Atletico Madrid. Atlético Tetuán was, in the image of the Maghreb city, an example of coexistence between cultures. Muslims, Jews, Christians, shared the fervor for their colors. In order to narrate its history and recreate the spirit of Tetuán and his team, Asociación Los 50 has created a pleasant exhibition that is composed of illustrations, texts, and period objects. International players, shield, colors, stadium, historical milestones, anecdotes, can be seen in an initiative in which also collaborate Government of the Autonomous City of Melilla and Center Sefarad-Israel. After passing through Madrid and Tel Aviv, “Tetuan striped” returns to North Africa. This time the expo is enriched with a panel dedicated to football in Melilla and the inaugural event will feature the intervention of former footballer Antonio Potous: born in Tetuán, he played in the Rayo Vallecano loaned by Atletico Madrid, and was a precursor The best handball team in Melilla as well as other sports. Club Marítimo de Melilla April 7 through April 30, 2017 (Inauguration: April 7 at 8 pm).
A judge in Barcelona has sentenced a young man of 22 years to four months in prison, special disqualification for the right of suffrage and about 500 euros fine for having painted a Nazi swastika at the door of a synagogue in the Catalan capital. The sentence nevertheless agrees to suspend the sentence of deprivation of liberty, if the defendant complies with a series of rules of conduct. The first: not to commit crime for two years. And the second, more in the way of education, condemns the young anti-Semite to participate in a human rights course aimed at full respect for equality and non-discrimination of people, especially for anti-Semitic reasons, and to be taught By the Department of Justice of the Generalitat. These courses should include visits to the synagogue, to know the reality of the Jewish people and “break prejudices and anti-Semitic stereotypes,” according to the ruling issued by the TSJC.
The events occurred on December 28, 2016. The young man who has been convicted acted with a woman “unidentified” according to the sentence, “moved by their animosity and willingness to humiliate the Jewish people.” They approached a synagogue in Barcelona and with a spray, while the young man carried out surveillance work, the woman drew a swastika at the door of the temple and sprinkled with red the mezuza, the small receptacle located on the right side of the entrances of all House that professes the Jewish religion. The young man has been convicted of an offense committed on the occasion of the exercise of fundamental rights in his way of injuring the dignity of people for anti-Semitic reasons.