European Jewish Congress
Spanish community calls for symbolic return of Toledo synagogue
Spanish community calls for symbolic return of Toledo synagogue

The Spanish Jewish community has called for the restitution a Toledo synagogue which was turned into a church following a 15th century pogrom.

The church of Santa María la Blanca in Toledo was originally the city’s main synagogue during the Middle Ages when the community flourished in Spain.

Constructed in 1300, the synagogue was confiscated by church authorities around a century later in 1411. In 1492, the Jews of Spain were forced to convert or be expelled.

Isaac Querub, President of the Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities, the country’s EJC affiliate, has made an official request for restitution of the site.

“I believe that in the 21st century, in a country like Spain, a symbolic restitution of this property looted from the Jewish community would be a beautiful gesture,” Querub said.

So far, there has been no response from the Toledo diocese or from its archbishop, Braulio Rodriguez.

Today, Santa Maria La Blanca is an impressive edifice with 405,928 visitors entering it in 2016 making it the third-most visited monument in Toledo after the cathedral and the Church of Santo Tomé.

Querub though insists he is not interested in the tourist revenues the site brings in but rather the symbolic nature of the recognition it was once a synagogue and to include it as part of the classic Jewish tourist route of Toledo including the Sefardi Museum and the city’s other synagogue, the Transito. 

Click here to read the full article in Le Point

Thursday, February 23, 2017
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