Hijar(Teruel/Spain): international relevance Jewish vestiges found

Little by little the enigmas that hides the hermitage of San Antón de Híjar are dissipating. The first results of the tastings made in just two weeks of January are already known and corroborate that, indeed, the present building is based on a Jewish synagogue.
“In Spain there are only two medieval synagogues with such obvious signs. After Lorca (Murcia), the Híjar is the clearest example. These are the words of Antonio Hernández, the archaeologist director of the tastings who, without hesitation, affirmed that “this is a finding of international importance”.
The evidence is based on the finding of the base of the bimá, the tribune from which the Torah was read. There are also two of the four pillars on which the tribune itself rose. It was raised to facilitate hearing and visibility and was eliminated when the temple was Christianized. This was the element of greatest interest and ended up having a great symbolic and social burden.

The hermitage, whose roof of the bell tower sank in 2010, will begin its restoration soon. At the International Congress of Jewish Heritage promoted by the Center of Studies of the Bajo Martín in October, it was emphasized the need to undertake previous tastings to avoid the loss of any element of value with the works.
“At the beginning of the year 2000, some tastings were made that were already pointing to the presence of remains. They were very superficial and needed to be deepened, “he added. Hernández belongs to Acrotera, a company specialized in heritage management. He worked in Híjar with a team made up of supporting archaeologist Jesús Franco; The specialist in photography, Cristina Bazán; And the historian Hijarano, Almuayad Royo.
After delivering the preliminary report to Soil and Housing so that the Government of Aragon can continue with the procedures of the works of the next restoration, currently focuses on closing the scientific memory. Another immediate step will be to publish the finding in national and international specialized magazines.
However, what is found does not remain there. Under the remains of the synagogue have been detected findings of Roman times. “I am skeptical of the forecasts because until you open you do not know what there is. In fact, we did not expect this because in the archives of DGA there is no record of Roman presence in the urban area, “he added.
Almuayad Royo, who is also a historian and president of the Alantansi Cultural Association, created to protect the Jewish legacy, is currently working on the study of the only document that accredits a synagogue in Híjar.
It is written in Latin and dates from 1410. “It is a license of works requested to expand it, so we find a synagogue prior to that extension and a later one,” he said.
This division is fundamental since the next step will be to try to find out if the current building was raised new in the sixteenth century or on the contrary, belongs to the synagogue of the fifteenth century.
When does the hermitage date?
This finding will guide and limit the restoration plan to conserve the remains. However, specialists agree that during the works there should be protection of walls, walls and ceilings to see if the hermitage is new or is the synagogue reconverted.
In this sense, Royo pointed to the House of the Rabbi and to the hypothesis that has maintained for some time. “Both the house and the hermitage are two rooms but really, a single building because both were intercommunicated through doors as well as having an interaction,” he explained and added that the synagogue was more than a place of worship.
“They were places of meeting that used to have a courtyard, classrooms for Talmudic schools, warehouses to keep the oil they made with a specific ritual, … We are talking about a series of stays and that is what we have to find out,” he added. Highlighted the role of a wall in particular, the adjoining with the House of the Rabbi.
The hijarano also stressed the importance of more details being discovered during the works, such as opening blinded windows with plaster that could conceal some type of molding.

Betting to recover the patrimony
The restoration of the hermitage of San Anton was announced at the October International Congress. The two towns that hosted the activities for being the ones that preserve a greater legacy were Albalate of the Archbishop and Híjar. For the works, the City of Híjar allocated a total investment of 370,000 euros from FITE.
The first mayor, Luis Carlos Marquesán, emphasized the importance of preserving the remains that could be found and spoke even of creating a specific route. “We have neither beach nor mountain but a Jewish heritage that we must promote together among all the institutions,” he said.
In the absence of the definitive report, from the City Hall celebrate the relevance of the findings. “They corroborate the Jewish past of the town and with an importance that supposes a greater accolade than we expected for the future project that includes reforming the whole neighborhood,” said the mayor, who stressed the need for all administrations to work in an integrated way. «Revitalizing the neighborhood and attracting specialized tourism will have repercussions beyond Híjar», he concluded
It is noteworthy that between DGA and Universidad San Jorge a web of juderías of Aragon is being elaborated, in addition to the Network itself in which the Autonomous Executive works. Some visits to the latest findings have already been made and some are not discarded due to the presentation of the relevance of what was found.

“La judía de Toledo”(“The Jewess of Toledo”) at Teatro de La Comedia de Madrid

la judia de toledo en teatro.png(English version below)

Versionada y dirigida por Laila Ripoll estará en cartel hasta el próximo 26 de marzo.

El Teatro de la Comedia de Madrid acoge hasta el 26 de marzo, el drama político ‘La judía de Toledo’ de Lope de Vega, versionada y dirigida por Laila Ripoll.

El espectáculo se representa con motivo del 25 aniversario de Micomicón Teatro, que coproduce la obra junto a la Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico.

El texto de Lope de Vega, que este año cumple su 400 aniversario, es, según Laila Ripoll, un drama político donde los hombres de poder se comportan de manera reconocible en muchas actitudes que se pueden ver hoy, algo que “interesa” e “inquieta” a la directora.

Dónde.- Teatro de la Comedia (Calle Príncipe, 14 – Madrid)

Cuándo.- Hasta el 26 de marzo

Precio.- Desde 4 euros
– See more at: http://www.madridesnoticia.es/cultura/teatros/la-judia-toledo-teatro-comedia-madrid#sthash.33axjbgI.dpuf

‘The Jewess of Toledo’ at the Teatro de la Comedia in Madrid
Versioned and directed by Laila Ripoll will be on line until next March 26.

The Teatro de la Comedia de Madrid hosts until March 26, the political drama ‘The Jewel of Toledo’ by Lope de Vega, versioned and directed by Laila Ripoll.

The show is represented on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Micomicón Teatro, which co-produces the work together with the National Company of Classical Theater.

The text of Lope de Vega, which this year marks its 400th anniversary, is, according to Laila Ripoll, a political drama where men of power behave in a recognizable way in many attitudes that can be seen today, something that “interests” and ” Worries “the director.

Where.- Teatro de la Comedia (Calle Príncipe, 14 – Madrid)

When.- Until March 26

Price .- From 4 euros

Kosher: a turistical target for Cordoba(Spain)

Resultado de imagen de kosher


In the United Kingdom, Germany and France already have Cordoba in the spotlight. It is the international markets that the latest strategic plan developed by the Tourism Consortium identifies as “priority” in tourism. They also coincide with the countries of origin of the majority of foreign tourists who visit the city. However, although the objective of identifying them is to avoid dispersion of efforts in countries that may not be profitable, the Tourism Consortium “forgets” them in the sectoral action plans described in the document. And it disperses. Specifically, towards the East.

Presence in International Fairs
An extensive marketing plan, presence in international fairs and public-private promotion campaigns based on the “winning letters” of Cordoba – heritage and gastronomy – make up the general plan of action of the Tourism entity, which is combined with a strategy of recruitment Of emerging markets. In order to influence internationalization, the report proposes a firm commitment to the halal and kosher markets, both Muslim and Jewish, respectively, with direct promotion actions in countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East or Israel. Among the reasons that justify it is the high expenditure made by these tourists, with a higher purchasing power than other international markets.

Curiously, neither the Arab Emirates nor the Asian continent are in the top positions of the ranking of priority markets established by the Tourism Consortium. Only Japan is in ninth position as a market classified as “relevant” for Cordoba. At the head is the West – Europe and the United States – while the Eastern countries do not even appear on the list of interest. However, the commitment of the Tourism Consortium to make Cordoba a “hook” for Muslim or Jewish visitors is out of the strictly territorial. According to the report, two of the countries with the highest demand for kosher-certified products – which respect the ritual prescriptions of Judaism – are precisely France and the United Kingdom.

Visitors from Southeast Asia
More complicated is the halal tourism lace, in which Cordoba also competes with other Andalusian capitals such as Seville or Granada that have also bet heavily on an offer compatible with Muslim rites as a bonus to increase their visits. In addition to Muslim tourists from Western countries, the body of the City Council of Cordoba seeks to attract visitors from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and countries of the Mediterranean as Turkey, Morocco and Algeria. To do this, it designs trade missions in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and joint actions with institutions such as the Halal Institute or Casa Árabe.

The Archbishopric of #Toledo does not want to give a #synagogue to the Jewish Community of Spain



The Archbishopric of Toledo will not give up, for the time being, the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca – one of the most visited monuments in this city -, to the Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities as it has requested. A petition that the Spanish Jews have been formulating since 1992, when the Vatican ordered the then archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Marcelo González Martín, to start talks with the State of Israel that did not fruition.

The last contacts between the current archbishop, Braulio Rodríguez, and the president of the Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities, Isaac Querub, were in November 2016. Since then, Querub has been making public statements claiming this historic building built in the century XII.
The Archbishop of Toledo has settled the matter on Thursday with a communique in which it suggests to the Jewish Community to go to the State to request the transfer of another important synagogue of Toledo, the one of Tránsito, very close to the one of Santa Maria the White.

Tickets, Franc and women of bad life
The Archbishopric of Toledo also wanted to clarify that this synagogue, transformed into a Christian temple in the fourteenth century, became part of the assets of the Catholic Church in 1929 during the reign of Alfonso XIII, reason why denied that it was General Franco Who gave it to her. In addition, the church hierarchy of Toledo declines to maintain the ownership of the synagogue for a collection purpose.

The entrance costs 2.5 euros but various groups and tourist agencies benefit from discounts. In addition, according to archbishopric data, the income obtained serves to maintain the synagogue itself, to pay for works in other temples and to pay religious figures.

The Santa María Blanca Synagogue, which over the centuries has also been used as a refuge for women repentant of their bad life, barracks and warehouse of the Royal Treasury, will remain a tourist attraction more than Toledo but in the hands of the Church , Not the Jewish Community. Curiously, it was Muslim and non-Jewish masons and masons who built it.

Jaen(Spain): Jewish trace


jaen-documento-judios-kNOH-U211940784834wpF-575x323@Ideal.JPGThe Provincial Historical Archive shows, through the initiative ‘The Document of the Month’, four documents on the life of the Jews in the city of Jaén between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, on the occasion of the celebration of the Day of Remembrance for the Victims Of the Holocaust, which was celebrated on 27 January and condemned, by resolution of the United Nations Assembly, all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or Religious beliefs, wherever they take place.

“We talk about an exhibition in which, through four documents, visitors are going to hear about four episodes about the life of the Jewish community in the city of Jaén where they are staged as the coexistence of Jews with Christians, What was the economic activity they developed, as well as the persecution to which they were subjected, “said the delegate of the Government, Ana Cobo.

Also, the delegate highlighted, during the inauguration of the exhibition ‘Jews in the Remembrance. Documentary evidence of his presence in Jaén, in which the territorial delegate for Culture, Tourism and Sports, Pilar Salazar, the Director of the Provincial Historical Archive, Juan del Arco, and the president of the Iuventa association, Rafael Cámara, participated. Sephardic Jew, Ricardo Djaen, descendant of members of the Jewish community who lived in the streets of the city of Jaén. “I want to welcome Ricardo to a city that is his city, and a city where we can enjoy the legacy left by his ancestors and that today is one of the main tourist claims of our province,” he said.

The Provincial Historical Archive, which has already addressed the Jewish presence in Jaén on the occasion of the commemoration of the 1100th anniversary of the birth of Hasday ibn Shaprut (Ben Saprut) at the end of 2015, has organized a sample centered on the presence of Jews in Jaén around Three main aspects. On the one hand, in the coexistence between Christian and Jewish cultures, on the other hand, in the economic activity developed by the Jews and, moreover, on the persecution to which the Jews were subjected, first, after the expulsion in 1492, his descendants, the converts.

As an example of the coexistence between the Christian and Jewish communities in the Old Kingdom of Jaén during the Middle Ages, this exhibition exposes the Law of Iznatoraf, where in one of its laws or sections regulated the use of public bath both Of Christians as Jews, establishing exclusive days for their use in each community.

On the other hand, in relation to the economic activities that the Jewish community performed in the Kingdom of Jáen is represented with a note of a deed by which Sushi of Abraham buys two slaves for 25,000 reais and with another document where the obligation of Marín But, neighbor of Jaén, to pay Martín Abraham, member of the Jewish community, the amount of 8780 maravedis.

This exhibition, which will be open until February 24, also includes references to the persecution suffered by the descendants of the Jews who converted to Christianity, the converts. Among them, the Document of the Month shows the request that Antón Rodríguez de Amores, Diego de Córdoba, Juan de Jaén Morocco, Lope de Fernández Chinchilla and other landlords of the rent of the alcabalas of the city of Jaén request to the queen that exempts them Of the charge imposed by the great pestilence and mortality, the great sterility of the year and by the Holy Inquisition since there are prisoners many merchants and traffickers.

The forgotten giants. Rabbis before and after the expulsion of Spain

Edict of Expulsion

A book by Yosef Bitton cites 20 Jewish personalities who lived between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, eight of them in Zamora

This is the title of the book by Yosef Bitton, formerly the Great Rabbi of Uruguay and current spiritual leader of the Ohel David & Schlomo congregation in Brooklyn, New York, who in the book chronicles twenty six Jewish personalities who lived between the end of the fifteenth century and Mid-17th century.
What struck me as I read it was that of the twenty-six names, eight have a direct connection with Zamora-Isaac Aboab II, Moshe Alashkar, Issac Campanton, Isaac Caro, Isaac Arama, Jacob and Levi Habib, Abraham Sabbath At least five -Jacob Berab, Samuel Medida, Salomón Serilo, David ben Zimra and Abraham Zacuto-, being disciples of the previous ones, would have relation of first degree, what would put to the city of Duero in a preminent place in the intellectual production Jewish in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
In addition to his religious ordination by the Grand Rabbinate of Israel, Bitton, a native of Argentina, studied at institutions such as Yeshiva University and Emory in the United States, as well as the Ben Gurion and Bar Ilan universities in Israel. Academic rigor, including familiarity with the theological concepts and ideas drawn from the rabbis studied. Nowadays, Bitton is considered one of the rabbinical authorities of the Sephardic world.

During one of the epistolary exchanges I had with him about the various references to Zamora in his book, Rab Bittón commented that “something very special had to be happening in the city so that so many personalities would leave there.” After four congresses to study the Jewish past of Zamora, we can say that what was happening here in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was the same thing that had happened in Cordoba, Toledo and Barcelona in previous periods: a vibrant cultural coexistence of which it formed Part of the Jewish community, which allowed the Zamoran Jews, for at least two centuries, to specialize in the study of the sacred scriptures.
The historical documentation indicates that after 1391, when several aljamas and Castilian juderías were violently attacked, Zamora became the refuge of the Jewish knowledge until the year of the expulsion, leaving from here the methodological and doctrinal corpus that, through its teachers , Would accompany the thousands expelled on their various routes, from Lisbon and Amsterdam to Istanbul and Jerusalem, passing through Fez, Cairo and Safed, as well described in the biographies of several of the figures presented in the book.
I confess that reading these stories was very satisfying to me because in a certain way validates what since 2010 a group of Spanish, Portuguese, American and Israeli scholars and researchers have been defending about the place of Zamora on the map of Sefarad. Or what is the same, the Jewish past of the city should not be studied only as a moment common to other towns and cities, but as the turning point of Jewish culture in the Iberian peninsula and as such, value its significance for Hispanic Judaism as a whole.
(*) Director of the Isaac Campantón Center


1942: Thousands of Jews took refuge in Barcelona

This happened 75 years ago, on January 20, 1942. Fifteen Nazi leaders met for an hour and a half in a chalet in Wansee, outside Berlin, and drafted the protocols that served to develop what was christened as a final solution , A subterfuge to avoid its real name: the Holocaust. Thousands of Jews went to Spain fleeing the extermination, and some settled down in Barcelona, undertaking a new life and adding vitality to a city depleted by the Civil War. They are the stories of people like Bernard Hilda, Kurt Kauf or Artur Kaps.
Those who gathered in Wansee were ministers of the Third Reich, responsible for the security apparatus and Nazi party jigsaw, led by an infamous character named Reinhard Heydrich. In 90 minutes, those fifteen criminals determined that 11 million Jews should be eliminated from the occupied territories. That day, every minute of his time amounted to 122,222 lives. The Holocaust was an irreparable loss of diversity and multiculturalism for the nations under the boot of the Third Reich, but what was a disgrace for some, were new airs for others. It does not stop being paradoxical that many Jews fled of the Nazism and looked for shelter in a dictatorship of fascist ideology like the Spanish, but it was. The scholars of the subject indicate that about ten thousand passed through Catalonia, mainly from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia; And a heterogeneous group settled in Barcelona, where they stood out in the business field, and especially in the artistic one.
In fact, the exodus towards Spain had begun before Wansee: it began in 1933, with the arrival of Hitler to the power and the antisemitic laws. The experts define two stages in this process. The one that goes from this moment to 1939 and the one that includes World War II.
It is in this first phase when a young doctor in law (his diploma signed by Heidegger) of 25 years, Kurt Kauf is installed in Barcelona. He was already on the list of people who were going to enter the judiciary, but anti-Semitic laws prevented it. Here he got the representation of the Adler sewing machines. He opened an office in Canuda Street, 45. He finally abandoned the laws and prospered in this business, which continued his family.
David Oliver made a fortune in the world of cinema: in Berlin he had exhibition halls, producers and distributors, but in August 1933 also escaped to Barcelona, where he founded with another group of Catalan partners Ibérica Films, who had a notable success with The production of the film Doña Francisquita, on the zarzuela of the teacher Vives. He ended up going to Hollywood and his company languished.
But Spain was not a paradise for most of those exiles. Many of them were more humble and had their origin in the world of the textile, like tailors or representatives of fabrics. They arrived without knowing anybody and they slept in the chairs of the Rambla, huddled next to each other, so that the popular street received the nickname among the refugees of hotel Catalonia. Another of the points where they landed was a pension located at number 6 of Modolell Street, Villa Elna; Center of passage for those who fled. The Civil War prompted many to embark on the road again to America, England, or Palestine, and collaboration between Spahotel-ritz-barcelonain and Germany caused detentions and temporary internment in concentration camps, although the flow continued after the invasion of Poland, fueled by the networks of Evasion and the ambivalent position of the Franco regime on the Jewish question. Most were in transit, looking for a third country where to settle.
In this second period came to Barcelona artists who did here career, as Bernard Hilda. His real name was Levitzki and his Russian origin. He was a well-known musician who fled from Paris in 1942, arrived in Cannes and from there went to Barcelona. At the head of his orchestra, plagued by Jewish musicians, he starred on the nights of the 1940s at the Ritz Grill and La Rosaleda. It was enormously popular and, while sweetening the evenings, spied for the allies.

When thousands of Jews were also in 1942 Artur Kaps arrived in Barcelona with his theatrical company Los Vieneses. The war caught him in his native Austria, and there he went to Italy, where he came to Spain, according to people who knew them. The Vienans, all Jews, contributed glamur to the magazine and took possession of Paral·lel. In 1959, Kaps entered the newly created Spanish Television, and together with their compatriots Franz Joham and Herta Frankel (with their famous pupil Marilyn) they developed programs like Friends of the Monday or Saturday Night. He was a pusher of television and had much to do in the successes of Spanish of Eurovision like the, the, the,.
In 1942, fifteen hitmen of Adolf Hitler gathered at Wansee to outline a plan with which to eliminate eleven million Jews.
The consequences of what they did are irreparable, but there was no final solution and Barcelona benefited from it.

Events around the “Sofer Synagogue”-Toledo

In the Jewish religion, the sofer is the writer who transcribes the Torah and an expert in Hebrew casofer-sinagogalligraphy. The sofer is also a synagogue built in Toledo’s Jewish quarter at the end of the 12th century and probably destroyed two centuries later during the “Anti-Jewish Revolt” of 1391. Forgotten for centuries, less than a decade ago, French archaeologist Jean Passini found The remains that proved its existence and around that discovery was conditioned the place of the Sofer.
With this background cultural context, the Toledo City Council has set up a program of activities for Saturday mornings (until the end of May) that carries the explicit title: “Music, theater and flowers in Sofer space”. The program is part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the declaration of Toledo as a World Heritage City by Unesco.

This Saturday was the inauguration of “Music, theater and flowers in space Sofer” and it acted the pianist Andrés Tejero and the saxophonist Diego Sánchez. All dressed up with a small market of flowers mounted by the florist El Edén (whose headquarters is on Avenida de Portugal, number 18).

“What we want is to live the street and therefore we have many cultural activities in the street. Spaces for the enjoyment of young people, families and anyone who wants to get closer, “said Mayor Milagros Tolón, who approached the square.
Also this Saturday, the Consortium of the City of Toledo, dedicated to the guarantor of the local heritage, dedicated its day of open doors to show for free the archaeological remains that lie below this square. You know, the once synagogue of the Sofer, but not only because there are also Islamic remains and even the Roman era.
Tolón was accompanied by the ex-president of Castilla-La Mancha, José Bono; The exalcalde of Toledo and president of the Royal Foundation of Toledo, Juan Ignacio de Mesa; The secretary general of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces in Castilla-La Mancha, Tomás Mañas, and the director of the School of Art of Toledo, Martín-Caro Sagrario. These authorities discovered an information totem pole in which the program of “Music, theater and flowers in space Sofer” can be read until the end of May.
A calendar in which the students of the School of Art will have a leading role, as they will organize three workshops: on lighting installation, graphic design and pottery.

Presentation of the book “The Return of the Bassat”-“El retorno de los Bassat”

alcalde-de-castrillo-mota-de-judiosThe mayor of Castrillo Mota de Judíos, Lorenzo Rodríguez, attended the presentation of the book “The return of the Bassat” at the Sefarad Center in Madrid last Januray 12th.

The book tells the life of the Bassat, Sephardic, who after having had to leave Spain in the fifteenth century, travel during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria, Germany and France, return to Spain and the Coen, Romanian Jews Established on the Greek island of Corfu, who also have to emigrate to Italy and France, before one of its members arrives in Barcelona in 1905. Vicenç Villatoro is the author of this book that goes through the years of “The Return of the Bassat “By the hand of Luis Bassat.

In the presentation of the book, Lorenzo Rodriguez coincided among other celebrities with Albert Rivera, president of Citizens, or David Hatchwell, president of the Jewish Community of Madrid.

Castrillo will present his projects in Madrid

Taking advantage of the visit to the capital of Spain, the mayor of Castrillo Mota de Judíos specified the date of the presentation of the projects of Castrillo Mota de Judíos in Madrid. The date chosen is no other than 27 February and the place will be the Sefarad Center itself, in the main street of Madrid. The presentation aims to present the project of the small Burgos municipality to Madrid society, with special interest in the important Jewish community of the capital.