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Sephardic Culture: Spain Calling

Sephardic Jews settled in the Iberian peninsula around the start of second millennium. They spread throughout Spain and Portugal and eventually made the land their home. They established rich communities in the two countries before they were forced to leave by Spain’s Catholic monarchs in late 15th century.

The Alhambra Decree issued by the monarchs resulted in mass executions, conversions and internal and external migrations. The Sephardim, or Spanish Jews as they’re called, have since been waiting to return to their homeland. Their 500 odd year wait seems to be over with a new law being passed in Spain reinstating Spanish citizenship the descendents of those expelled.

Sephardic Culture

According to a report in Indiegogo, the ‘La Kaza Muestra Citizenship Project’ has been created by Yuri Sasson,facilitating interactions between the Spanish governments and the Sephardic diaspora. Yuri is a 2015 Ariane de Rothschild Fellow and Ambassador at Large and special adviser for the Spanish law of Return for The European Jewish Parliament.

He aims to bring back the center of Sephardic culture to Spain. The officials also are hopeful of creating a diverse and healthy society, where all the three major religions of the world can coexist peacefully just like they had been more than a century ago.

The project hopes that over the period of the next three years, most of the descendants of Sephardic Jews will be able to reclaim their Spanish citizenship. The project will ensure the streamlining the process regardless of the current religious affiliations or social status of the decedent’s.

The project will help a number of the Sephardim who had almost given up hope, return to their homeland. As is expected, many of the Sephardim may not have the resources or the technical know-how at hand to complete the process. TheLa Kaza Muestra Citizenship Project will help such individuals by providing services to make the process as quick and easy as possible.

A project at this scale will require significant amount of money to operate. The detailed breakdown of the financials can be found on https://www.indiegogo.com. With the generous contribution from the fellow Sephardim, the process can be made easy for the less fortunate and start the healing process which has already been 500 year too late, but as they say better late than never!

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