I was happy to receive this news of the creation of the Zakhor Center of Jewish Studies in Barcelona, Spain.
Created by David Stoleru (president) and Dominique Tomasov Blinder (secretary general), both involved in the case of the unearthed Tarrega Jewish cemetery during construction and the subsequent reburial of Jewish remains in the Barcelona Jewish cemetery.
Currently, they are working on defining the Montjuic Jewish cemetery boundaries through archival research.
According to the announcement, the center will address the following important issues, among others: What is the value of heritage? Who are we preserving for? What use should be given to heritage? What are the ethical limits of scientific research? How do we interpret historical data?
The center's plans are to:
-Sensitize society in general, the Jewish communities and the public administration, about the value of a common heritage and the benefits of transmitting it at national and European levels.
-Encourage preservation and appreciation of sites with historic, cultural or religious Jewish interest.
-Protect ancient cemeteries from abandonment, damage, exhumation, destruction or improper actions.
-Propose actions to raise such important issues based - among others - on local directives and national regulations on citizen’s rights and agreements between nations and Jewish communities, according to which cemeteries are inviolable.
-Offer expert Jewish participation to incorporate heritage content to help better understanding.
-Facilitate communication among national and local administrations, museums, Jewish communities, universities and private entities, to interpret and transmit development and contributions of Judaism and Jewish culture in these lands and in the Diaspora.
-Collaborate with public administration to study and preserve this national historic heritage, seeking solutions for complex situations in a way compatible with Jewish tradition.
-Collaborate with local and international experts, in their projects to study and preserve national historic heritage, and seek solutions for complex situations in a way compatible with Jewish tradition.
-Study and analyze the revitalization, development and contribution of Jewish culture in Catalan and Spanish societies, since its return at the end of the 19th century after 400 years of absence.
The non-profit center will be funded by private/public grants, donations and income for professional services. In the near future, a rented storefront for the center, in the heart of the Barcelona Call, will be opened and the website will be launched.