23 August 2009

Spain: European Day of Jewish Culture, Sept. 6

The 10th European Day of Jewish Culture will be marked in 27 Spanish communities on Sunday, September 6, according to Caminos de Sefarad secretary Assumpcio Hosta. The organization is based in the famed city of Girona, which Tracing the Tribe has often visited.

The non-profit Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters' goal is protecting Sephardic Heritage in Spain, including aspects of culture, art, history, architecture and city life. The group's community members (nearly 2 dozen) promote cultural, touristic and academic projects, collaborate on projects in Spain and abroad and develop sustainable cultural tourism policies in their cities.

Events in each community, which today generally have few or no Jews remaining, range from tours of the medieval, pre-Expulsion Jewish neighborhoods (juderias), films, exhibits, concerts, visits to ancient synagogues and mikvot recently discovered and restored, lectures and other presentations.

Co-hosts and sponsors include universities, historical and archaeological museums, libraries, film festivals, restaurants, and local government and organizations.

See the complete PDF program here. For more information, visit Caminos de Sefarad. In the top left corner, click English for that version.

Also, the group has a recently added blog. I found only one post so far, but there's a nice list of Sephardic links (lower right) for readers who wish more information.

Several years ago, the Girona Archives discovered many old Hebrew documents had been incorporated in the binding process of medieval notarial books. The story of how these precious documents were revealed, how they were preserved, as well as 15 examples of the documents themselves may be read here.

Some 19 books produced more than 250 Hebrew documents, which included registers of pawnbrokers, medical book pages, legal document drafts, an excommunication, Ashkenazi script pages from the Babylonian Talmud, Catalan commentaries on the Talmud, commentary by Rashi, a 1443 accounting notebook demonstrating everyday life, rabbinical court documents, pre-1391 Jewish community leadership documents, house sales, liturgical poems for holidays and others. Many documents contain names of people, places and dates. Read about it here.

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