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Spain through Jewish Eyes

Jews arrived with the Phoenicians, before even the Romans came. From that time until they were expelled in 1492, they played an essential role in the culture and history of Spain. Even until now, Conversos have left their mark on Spain. Today over a quarter of the population of Spain is of Jewish heritage. That’s why next to Israel, Spain is the most important destination for Jewish travelers who want to rediscover their heritage. 

These special tours were designed by our founder to let you do just that. She was not only raised in Spain, but is knowledgeable in Jewish Iberian history. With her intimate knowledge of Sephardic Spain, she has put together a series of unique itineraries designed to introduce you to both the tragedies and glories of Spain’s Jewish past. Yet all were designed around this central premise: 

While most of the rest of Europe lived in the Dark Ages, Sephardic Spain was the light of the world. 

They’ll take you to the key cities that played such important roles during the Golden Age of Jewish learning, the Inquisition and Expulsion eras as well as the return of the Jewish Communities in the 19th century and the escapes routes through Spain during WWII.

Each of these tours is enhanced by lectures of local experts and guides, some of whom have played personal roles in preservation Jewish historical sites. You’ll also have the opportunity in some cases to meet members of the Jewish Community and celebrate Shabbat Spanish style. At the same time, you’ll enjoy the Spanish hospitality, culture and gastronomy.

About The Spanish Diaspora 

The glorious and tragic history of the Spanish Jews and their Sephardic heritage dates back 2000 years. The contribution of the Spanish Jews is hard to measure due to its immensity, with poets, mathematicians, doctors, astrologers, linguists, philosophers and translators who rose to recognition during the Jewish Golden Age in Spain. 

The Spanish Jews also lived in isolated communities all throughout Spain. They were protected by the different regional Caliphates and Kings, before the Christian Re-Conquest of Spain, and the Expulsion Edict in 1492. However, during the 13th century these communities had already started to experience pogroms and persecutions.

History also shows us that there were some differences between the Jewish communities in the north which were influenced by the Cabbala teachings and philosophy, while in the south they were influenced by arts and poetry.

You’ll find their writings in the Arab, Hebrew, Old Castilian and Ladino languages. It’s difficult to find a people where the population reached such heights, leaving such a valuable legacy.

Jewish-Wall700
Toledo, Spain – September 5, 2015: Interior of the Synagogue of El Transito, famous for its rich stucco decoration

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