Top 5 “Jewish Films” for Oscar Season

steven-spielberg-jew-oscarThe Academy Awards are rapidly approaching, and many people are curious about the films on this year’s short lists. This Oscar season’s short lists are filled with films that feature a diverse crop of directors, actors and plotlines. Some of this season’s best, however, are films with Jewish themes. Here are the top five Jewish films to watch this Oscar season.

 “Foxtrot”

This gut-wrenching film deals with a variety of heavy topics including the grief of parents who lost their soldier son, the joys and challenges of marriage and the boredom of daily life in the army. Directed by Samuel Moaz, “Foxtrot” was named the second-best film at the Venice International Film Festival and is on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. “Foxtrot” also won the award for Best Film at Israel’s Ophir Awards despite generating controversy in Israel over the film’s portrayal of Israeli control of the West Bank.

“Foxtrot” follows an affluent Tel Aviv couple who learn that their son has been killed in the line of duty. The film stars Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler, and it opens in U.S. theaters on March 2, 2018.


“In the Fade”

Directed by Fatih Akin, this German film dramatizes the rise of neo-Nazism through the murder of Nuri and Rocco Sekerci, a Kurdish man and his small son. Katja Sekerci, the surviving widow, pursues revenge against the neo-Nazis who murdered her family. The film won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes and is shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

“In the Land of Pomegranates”

This documentary follows a mix of young Israeli and Palestinian men and women who are brought together in a scenic German town. The Israelis and Palestinians live under the same roof, go on joint excursions in the countryside, take a riverboat cruise and argue for hours on end as part of a program called “Vacation from War.” This program began in 2002 and aims “not to make participants love each other [but if] only five people change their attitudes…that’s progress.”

“In the Land of Pomegranates” uses the arguments between the program participants to explore the chasm between young Israelis and Palestinians. Directed by Hava Kohav Beller, the young Israelis’ and Palestinians’ arguments are set against the backdrop of the contradictory meanings of the word “pomegranate” in Hebrew: “fruit” and “hand grenade.”

“The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm”

Few people have managed to find ways to teach young children about the Holocaust, but this short documentary attempts to tackle the issue. In “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” 10 year old Elliot asks his great-grandfather, Jack Feldman, about the Holocaust. Feldman, a Holocaust survivor, opens up to his American-born great-grandson about his experiences. The goal of the film was to transmit Feldman’s experience “gently and with clarity.” The documentary will premier on HBO on January 27, 2018, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.


“116 Cameras”

This documentary is on the Oscar shortlist for Best Short Documentary and gives a behind-the-scenes look at filming a Holocaust survivor’s testimony. Specifically, it focuses on how filmmakers worked to preserve the memories of Anne Frank’s surviving stepsister, Eva Schloss, in the form of an interactive, holographic image.

Oscar season always brings new documentaries and foreign films into the American limelight. People spend days watching and discussing films on the short-list, and almost everyone has an opinion about which film should win the award. So, what do you think? Which of these Jewish films is your favorite?

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/idolchatter/2018/01/oscar-seasons-top-5-jewish-films.html

The Jewish football player able to change a match schedule in the Spanish Football League

Haim Revivo CeltaHaim Revivo was the first Israeli player to play in the Spanish League. He did it in Celta de Vigo between 1996 and 2000, period in which the team reached to reach semifinals of the UEFA CUP(1999).
The goal of Revivo in Anfield that entered the history of Celta

Revivo arrived at Celta after being named best player of the Israeli championship in the two previous campaigns, in the Maccabi Haifa. He did not stand out for his scoring ability (he only made a fortnight in the League), but he treasured one of the best left-handers Balaídos has enjoyed in the last decades. With Irureta first and then with Víctor Fernández as coaches, he was one of the bastions of that Celta nicknamed as ‘La máquina'(the machine).

The most remembered episode of Haim Revivo in Spain, however, was the controversy that was generated around the schedule of the match Celta-Betis of 1996, only a couple of months after his arrival in Vigo. The match was set for 20:00 hours on Sunday, September 22nd, half an hour after the Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur or ‘Day of Forgiveness’ began in Israel, a day of fasting and prayer starting at sunset .

Revivo went to rest to celebrate Yom Kippur

Revivo consulted with a rabbi of Madrid what he should do, since his agent had included in the contract a clause by which the Celta had to respect his religious customs. The rabbi stated that Revivo had to be in his home at 19:45 to go locked and not eat or drink until the evening of the following day, according to this Jewish rite of penance. Solution? To advance the hour of the party to 18:00 so that Revivo could play the first part, since the option to advance the party to Saturday was vetoed to Celta. Everything went well for Revivo except the result: 0-2 for the Betis.

The best goals of Revivo in the Spanish League

Toshack called for Real Madrid and Rivaldo told him that he would play with him at Barcelon, but that jump never came and, after leaving Vigo in 2000, he would end up in the ranks of Fenerbahçe. Especially well things went in the first campaign, where he conquered the Turkish Superleague with great protagonism in the equipment.

Shortly afterwards he would move on to Fenerbahçe’s great rival, Galatasaray, where it stayed only a season. A controversial transfer that Revivo already did in its beginnings, when it left the Bnei Yehuda of Tel Aviv to sign for the Hapoel. Before retiring, however, he did have time for sentimentality: he played a season at Ashdod in his hometown, where he hung up his boots at age 31.

“Cordoba is one of the key points for the israelian tourism” says Yinam Cohen

yinam CohenYinam Cohen is the Minister Counselor and Head of Political Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Spain. In its department, as number two of the embassy, the meetings of the Israeli delegations of high level are generated, while it deals with the relations with the diplomatic corps accredited in Spain. It is in Cordoba these days on the occasion of the month of Israel in Andalusia and yesterday visited the facilities of CÓRDOBA Journal.

– What activities will develop in this city on the occasion of the month of Israel in Andalusia?

-The visit to Cordoba is part of a rather large project that we are doing the Israeli embassy in several cities of Andalusia: Almeria, Cordoba, Jaen, Seville and Granada. And the purpose is to approach the Israeli embassy to the Andalusians. In Córdoba we are celebrating a very interesting culinary encounter between one of our most famous chef, Victor Gloger, and one of the most famous Spanish and Cordovan chefs, Paco Morales, from the Noor restaurant, with a dialogue about Israeli and Spanish cuisine, Israeli has a very interesting heritage and convergence with the Spanish. And also in Cordoba I will give today a conference on Israel in the Middle East and some political meetings.

– What is intended with this cultural initiative?

-Andalusia is the most populated region or community in Spain and the most important, which has a very important political, economic and cultural importance in the country. Jewish history in Spain happened here in Andalusia. Much of our Israeli culture comes from the Sephardim, who have developed in Andalusia. Here in Cordoba we have the Synagogue, born Maimonides, one of the most important thinkers in Jewish history … We feel that we have many ties, that the Jewish people has a lot of history in Cordoba and Andalusia and now we want to develop the present and the future .

-How is the relationship of Israel with Cordoba, a city that cares and reforms its Synagogue and has a Judería that is World Heritage?

-Córdoba is today one of the key points in Israeli tourism in Spain, but I think it can reach a high point. The Israelis find in Spain one of the most interesting destinations in the world. Each year around 350,000 Israelis arrive in Spain, a figure that in Spanish and Andalusian terms is perhaps not so much because there is a lot of tourism, but for a country as small as Israel means a lot. It means that one in 20 Israelis normally arrive in Spain. They come for football, for the beaches, but most of all for the culture and for the history and the Jewish heritage. And which city more reflects the history and the Jewish heritage in Spain? Cordova. And that is why we want to establish and expand our ties and it is the work we are doing here.

“What do you think the Synagogue is going to have a visitor center?”

-I’m going to meet her and we think this project is very important. The Jewish people have a lot of history in Spain. And now many Israelis and Jews in the world are returning to their Sephardic roots, to the culture of the Ladino, the Jewish-Spanish language, which has had so much literary wealth. And by the way we are very grateful to the Government of Spain for having approved a law of Sephardic that allows the descendants of these to acquire their Spanish citizenship again.

-After 31 years, how are the bilateral relations Spain-Israel?

– Now that there is political stability in Spain allows us to work with much more energy. Spain is one of the 5 largest countries in the EU, it is the fourth economy within the Union, and for Israel it is a very important point of focus. And now there is a boom in contacts between the two governments. Next week we will have a very important parliamentary delegation, headed by the President of Amistad in our Parliament, who will come to know Congress and the Senate. And in the second half of the year, our President, Reuven Rivlin, who has been invited by His Majesty the King to visit him, wants to give a new approach to the history that unites us.

– He’s in charge of political affairs at the Israeli embassy, what’s troubling him at the moment?

-More than all we work in a positive agenda, in the bonds between the governments and there are many exchanges in subjects of immigration; We have a small economy but in technological matters we are in the international vanguard and the theme of innovation is of great interest to the Spanish Government. Also in cybersecurity, which is a growing threat and Israel and Spain can cooperate. In addition, next week the group Amistad Spain-Israel will be launched with Spanish deputies. However, there are some sectors in society and in Spanish politics that instead of discussing seek discriminatory cases and try to promote the boycott against Israel. But we are very happy that this is not common between the parties and the Spanish people and are quite marginal sectors.

-How does Israel live beyond the negative news that come to us?

-Israel is in the middle of the most turbulent place in the world right now, in the Middle East, with Syria in the North and Islamic states around. But Israel is at the same time the largest development and technological research center in the world outside of Silicon Valley in the United States. There are 300 multinationals of the largest in the world that have opened their centers of development and research in Israel by the human talent and academic level. We live in a very pluralistic and open society and we keep trying to reach peace and tranquility.

-With Trump’s arrival in the US government, how does it affect the peace process with the Palestinians?

“Direct negotiation between Israel and Palestine has been frozen for three years. And we need to talk to come to an agreement. Last week, Trump’s special envoy was in Israel for the Middle East peace process. President Trump can give a new impetus, perhaps a little different and fresh to what we have had in recent years. And it would be good if both Netanyahu and Abbas, who have been satisfied with this first visit, can start again direct negotiation and have the support of the new Administration in Washington. Today’s Middle East is not the one we’ve always known, not 5 years ago. It has changed by the rise of jihadism and the Islamic State and now there is an understanding by a common enemy. We do not have official diplomatic relations with these countries but there are already contacts of low profile, because the common things are more than the political differences. I am the father of three children and the only thing that worries me as a diplomat and father is that my children and the children of Palestinians and Israelis have a future of peace. We have to dialogue and make the concessions we have to make to reach a peace agreement. And now it is more possible than before.

“Politics has come to football and threatens to cloud the Spain-Israel party in Gijón.

– What worries us most about this match is the Spanish team, which is very good (laughs) and I think it’s going to be a very big challenge for our team. Sport is a sport and in politics we are open to any kind of dialogue with which we want to dialogue but not with whoever wants to boycott or deny Israel’s right to exist.

 

Month of Israel in Andalusia

mes de israel en andaluciaThe Israeli Embassy in Spain, in collaboration with various institutions, has organized the month of Israel in Andalusia to be held the second fortnight of March in different cities of Andalusia.

The program includes various meetings, events and events of cultural, political, technological, gastronomic, etc. The main objectives of this initiative are to strengthen the ties between Israel and Andalusia and to contribute to a better understanding of the current Israeli situation.

In addition to the events included in the program, Israeli diplomats will hold meetings, meetings and interviews in the media, universities and political representatives.

Among the events that will take place include the presentation of the Israeli film The Women’s Balcony with the assistance of its director Emil Ben Shimon in the cinema Albéniz de Málaga (March 15); The two gastronomic events that will be carried out by Israeli chef Victor Gloger with chef Paco Morales at Noor restaurant in Cordoba (March 22) and with chefs Samuel Perea and Rafael Gutiérrez at El Pimpi restaurant in Malaga (March 24); Or the Seminar New frontiers in water technology in Seville and Almeria (27 and 28 March).

Castrillo Mota de Judíos presents in Madrid the new project for this city

castrillo-mota-de-judiosThe excavations at the site of La Mota, the interpretation center of Jewish culture on the Camino de Santiago and the proposal to design a Sephardic cultural itinerary in the province of Burgos are the three major initiatives in which Castrillo Mota works Jews, and that tomorrow Monday will present to the Spanish Jewish community in an act organized by Center Sefarad-Israel. The objective is not only to publicize the projects, but also to gather the necessary support to develop them.

The Mayor, Lorenzo Rodriguez, recalled that the Jewish community in Spain is very “deluded” by the proposals of the Burgos municipality, since they mean recovering the past of the Jewish people in Burgos. “We have taken the projects very seriously,” as Ángel Palomino, director of the archaeological site research and value project, and Gonzalo Villarreal, architect in charge of the Sephardic memory center, demonstrates.

The center of the Sephardic memory would require an investment of around 500,000 euros

Both will be in the meeting tomorrow, which will take place at the headquarters of the Sefarad-Israel Center in Madrid, from 19:00. Manuel Moratinos, responsible for historical documentation, will also be present. Castrillo Mota de Judíos wants to give a boost to its projects in 2017, so that among its objectives is to begin, at least, the works for the creation of that center of Sephardic culture on the Camino de Santiago, whose investment will be around the 500,000 euros.

The City Council already owns the home in which the center will be installed, and knows what it wants to do. Most of the intervention will focus on the façade, which will be restored. The interior will be left as it is, although it is musealized. The most important thing is to have the financial funds to start it, although Rodríguez hopes to start the rehabilitation this year, even if it is with own money of the City Council and the Cultural Association Mota de Judíos.

“We depend on external aid,” he acknowledged, so they do not leave an opening date, although the mayor acknowledges that they would like to have it running by 2019. Meanwhile, Castrillo has work to do in the archaeological site of ‘La Mota’ , Which has 80,000 square meters of land for excavation. This year will begin the third phase of the excavations, which will count on an aid of the Provincial of 20,000 euros, which the City will complete with 9,000. And the Junte is expected to collaborate as in previous years, with 30,000 euros.

In March, Rodríguez will return to Madrid to discuss the organization of a trip to New York

In this new phase will continue working in the synagogue, always following the indications of the research project of Palomino. The ultimate aim is to put into value the site where the Castrillo origin lies as a refuge for the Jews expelled from Castrojeriz. The latest initiative to be presented to the Jewish community is the project to create a Sephardic cultural itinerary in the province, which is still in its infancy, but which would be willing to collaborate around fifteen municipalities.

Travel to New York
The presentation will also serve to raise economic support, and to advance in the trip to New York that is being scheduled for upcoming dates. Lorenzo Rodriguez explained that in March they will have a specific meeting at the Sefarad-Israel Center to address this issue, but it is intended to be able to travel to the United States to present the Jewish Castrillo Mota initiatives to the American Jewish community. There would be a delegation led by the mayor, the architect and the archaeologist, in addition to the Sefarad-Israel Center.

The municipality wants to become an international benchmark for Jews, so this year, they will have contact with Israel. They will visit the country and, at the same time, will host a meeting with the town of Kfar Vradim, with which they twinned last year. The cultural proposals of this 2017 will be complemented by a summer course on Jewish culture and tradition, in collaboration with the Sefarad-Israel Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the traditional concerts, also in the summer months.

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.

Toledo and the claimed Synagogue

http://cultura.elpais.com/cultura/2017/02/14/actualidad/1487073379_668229.html

santa-maria-la-blanca-16425x284The archbishop of Toledo prefers to remain silent. The official response of his diocese at the insistence of EL PAÍS is: “The archbishop considers that, for the moment, he should not make any statement on the matter.” The “subject” is the property of the Santa María la Blanca synagogue in Toledo, which today belongs to the Catholic Church. Church law states that the ultimate decision about what to do with the synagogue depends on the diocese, headed by Archbishop Braulio Rodríguez Plaza.

The Jewish community of Toledo built Santa María la Blanca around 1300. A century later, in 1411, St. Vincent Ferrer removed it during a massacre of Jews. Toledo had other synagogues, but Santa Maria la Blanca was the Mayor. The Jewish community is now calling for its return. “In the 21st century, in a country like Spain, a symbolic return of that good plundered to the Jewish community would be nice,” says Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities.

With silence, the archbishop has enough to keep things as they are. The Jewish community has little choice but to insist on a gesture of the Church or a multi-party negotiation with the state. The courts are not possible because the present Jewish community is not heiress of the historical community toledana.

The message of silence from the archbishopric was accompanied by this other excuse, which seems to take away symbolic weight from the Jewish petition: “Today, Santa Maria la Blanca is not a church or a synagogue. In it there is no official worship of any confession. It is a historic building that the archdiocese cares for, preserves and maintains. ” The temple is today a tourist monument and is desecrated, but sporadic acts are performed that do not involve mass.

The proof that the diocese of Toledo knows that it has something delicate in hand is a recent legal management. On July 18, 2012, Professor of Law at the Universidad Complutense Francisco García Fernández requested a copy of the inscription of the synagogue in the Registry of Toledo. Two days later, hardly by chance, the parish of Santo Tomé, owner of the property, donated it to the archbishopric. “He gave the synagogue to the archbishop because he who receives a donation becomes a ‘owner of good faith’, but it does not apply because the final owner remained the same: the diocese,” Garcia Fernández believes.

Gerardo Ortega, the parish priest of São Tomé who donated to the Registry in 2012, says he does not remember anything: “There has been no legal movement. Santo Tomé has never owned the synagogue. It is impossible for the minor to donate to the elderly. What is parish is always diocesan, “he says. Ortega knows that the request of the Jewish community is not new. There was at least one – more private – in 1992. “Occasionally a desire arises because it brings them a very special memory,” he admits. But it can not be done any more, according to his opinion: “It can not be of the Jewish world because of who it is. It is so. “

Ortega does not give much value to the request for return: “The Jewish community who is? That entity has to be addressed to someone, but not a newspaper buzz. I do not know if the archbishop has received anything. ” The archbishop has in fact received no one. Querub has requested an official meeting by letter. They have not yet answered him. In November 2016, Querub coincided with Rodríguez Plaza in one act. At the beginning of his speech, Querub referred to the archbishop: “An intelligent and influential man with whom we have so much to talk about.” Those things are still not spoken.

The Spanish Church is not unanimous. Cardinal Carlos Osoro, archbishop of Madrid and vice-president of the Episcopal Conference, sees a need for a gesture with the Jewish community: “All the efforts we make are few. The gestures that come to us and help us are good. Of course I see it well. Santa María la Blanca has to be a meeting place, “he says. The celebrated interreligious dialogue needs more than words, according to Mayte Rodríguez de Lara, director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Studies: “In all my years of work for dialogue I have never heard a voice of resentment towards any Jew about expulsion Or religious persecution. We can not turn the dialogue into pure formalisms without endowing it with meaning. “

A monument that collects

Santa María la Blanca is the third most visited monument of Toledo, after the cathedral and the church of Santo Tomé, where is El Buenco del Buen Orgaz, by El Greco. In 2016 the synagogue received 405,928 visitors, according to archbishop data. The entry costs 2.5 euros, and you have to subtract the 5,317 people who came for free and those who bought a bracelet for 9 euros that includes 7 monuments of the archbishopric, including the synagogue. In 2014, year with the latest data, 59,600 bracelets were sold. If we look at the growth in sales of the bracelet, perhaps have sold about 100,000 in 2016. The paid visitors in the synagogue could be around 300,000. If so, the exclusive income would be around 750,000 euros per year. The money is divided between convents, a diocesan fund to help other churches and the salary of the maids of the place. The money has not gone clearly to the maintenance of the building. The new lighting costs 125,000 euros and 80% has paid Iberdrola. The last great restoration of the synagogue was between 1983 and 1994 and was paid by the Ministry of Culture. The architect Francisco Jurado was in charge of the work: “There were humidities that went up the columns and deteriorated the capitals. When it rained you would put your hands on the pillars and the water would fall. It had a pavement, “he says. Interior of Santa María la Blanca before its restoration of the 80s Image courtesy of Francisco Jurado Interior of Santa María la Blanca before its restoration of the 80s / Image courtesy of Francisco Jurado The synagogue was renovated and saved, but its historical relevance remains without Put into value. Today there is hardly a poster with a little eloquent chronology. Visitors roam the ships without direction. “Diocesan museology is poor,” says Santiago Palomero, director of the Museo Sefardí de Toledo, which includes the other great synagogue of the city, Tránsito. “They’re not counting. It is a site with a historical relevance and they are not interested in anything. There is a lack of care, “he adds. At the entrance there are more posters about the peculiar Fraternity of Santa María de la Mañana than about the synagogue. A Japanese visitor mistakes the arrow for a lateral “exposition” with the entrance of the synagogue and wanders the courtyard looking for the door. The Fraternity is a mixed community of ten members founded in 1999 by the current archbishop, Rodríguez Plaza, when he was a bishop of Salamanca. Shortly thereafter, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, then Archbishop of Toledo, gave them “the spiritual responsibility of the synagogue,” according to his founder, Brother Abraham de la Cruz, and “made me make an exhibition throughout the synagogue on panels” . The synagogue was filled with pictures of a presumed mystical value, but not historical. “It does not seem to me that exposures of dubious quality help keep the synagogue materials intact,” says Paloma Acuña of the Royal Toledo Foundation. A few years ago, the exhibition left the temple to its current side room: “The archbishop renewed our contract but in the small place for reasons that only he can explain,” Brother Abraham says. The role of the Fraternity there is to speak of the Unity between the Church and Israel. Although rather its aim seems to attract the ethereal sympathy of Jews towards the Church: “We have often heard Jews say in our exposition that if this vocation exists it is because the Messiah was born. Many are crying, “explains Brother Abraham. The Fraternity does several prayers in the synagogue at Jewish festivals, but it has no relation with the Spanish Jewish community. Toledo today has no Jewish community of its own. The synagogue has historically been Church and State. After its time of synagogue, first it was oratorio and soon I convent for repentant prostitutes. In the nineteenth century passed into the hands of the state and was military arsenal and treasury store. The Monuments Commission restored it in the nineteenth century and tried to get the church to use it again. Finally, the regime of Franco was the one who returned the synagogue to the Church in 1939 with the excuse of “lacking the State of means for its maintenance”, according to a decree that quotes Palomero in his doctoral thesis. An extraordinary gesture in PalermoThe return of a Synagogue of the Church to a Jewish community is extraordinary because, in addition to the implications of the religious gesture, the medieval synagogues that remain in the hands of the Church and that some Jewish community claims are scarce. In Spain it only happens with Santa María la Blanca. There are other synagogues with value – the Transit, also in Toledo, and the one of Cordova, that are of the State – and one in Segovia, that underwent a fire in 1899 and is inside a convent. “The petition of the Jewish community of Santa María la Blanca is a great opportunity for the Spanish Church to rethink its attitude towards the Jewish people,” says Rodríguez de Lara.This January in Palermo (Italy) a remarkable gesture has taken place . The small community of a few dozen Palermitan Jews -expelled also in 1492-had been seeking a place of worship and study for eight years. The City Council had offered them an unfeasible place. In July 2016, the president of the community, Evelyne Aouate, went to see the new archbishop, Corrado Lorefice. “After 20 days he called to tell me that he was willing to offer us what he had asked for: an oratory in the synagogue area of the old Jewish quarter “Says Aouate. Above the destroyed synagogue of Palermo, the church of San Nicolò di Tolentino was built. Next to it there is an oratory that is now in disuse, which is the space that Lorefice has given freely to the Jewish community. “It is something extraordinary, very particular and not simple to obtain,” says Noemi di Segni, president of the Union of Jewish Communities of Italy. Apparently so far, Toledo will not revive a similar gesture. It is true that the repercussion would be different: the Toledo synagogue was the center of Spanish Jewish life. As in Palermo, the decision is in the hands of the archbishop. Higher in the Vatican, there seems to be little interest in interfering: “The Vatican does not get into those things,” says Cardinal Osoro. In Palermo, at least, it has not done so: “It is clear that the Vatican will have given its opinion,” says Pierpaolo Punhasllo, Rabbi of the Shivai Israel organization that helps communities in Italy. “But it has never come to me. My interlocutor is Archbishop Lorefice, “he adds. If there were any steps in Toledo, the formulas for ownership of the synagogue may not be a mere return to the Jewish community. Isaac Querub insists on clarifying three things: the initiative to propose is of the Church, the return does not imply economic restitution nor to keep the money of the entrances and the State should play a part.A ANNIVERSARY TOLEDANOToledo celebrates this year the 30th anniversary of Its declaration as a World Heritage City. There is no lack of convent stones, Jewish streets, cathedrals and mythical oils to remember. The City Council, in agreement with other organizations, has launched guided tours to the best known and most hidden heritage, with concerts of music and theater and exhibitions. The city of the Alcázar and of the marzipans, the Greco and the three cultures, will receive this year the visitors with an enriched program, where Santa María la Blanca will be obligatory stop. From the Real Foundation of Toledo, The two synagogues in the Sephardic Museum complex: “It is compatible to keep the synagogue open to the public, to perform Jewish liturgical acts and to join the cultural management of the Sephardic Museum to tell the history of the Jewish quarter,” says Paloma Acuña. Money, for Acuna, would not be a problem: “The revenues would still be there. If so much money went to each convent, the state can commit to continue to send it. “The proof that nothing is impossible is that there has already been a Jewish wedding in the synagogue. According to two sources, a Jewish couple rented the temple for a while, hid the cross in the central nave and sought a progressive rabbi – who put few hits – to take advantage of a place of so much symbolism.