Spain's Law of Return: It is with deep sorrow that Abq Jew informs you of the need for this upcoming webinar, which will deal with the American Sephardi Foundation's response to Spain's broken promise to atone for the Alhambra Decree and the horrors of the Inquisition.
Following-up on the New York Times’ exposé, the American Sephardi Federation will present an exclusive briefing on the situation in Spain as the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) bureaucratically dismantles the Sephardic citizenship law.
Special Guests include
ICYMI: This webinar was recorded.
Spain Pledged Citizenship to Sephardic Jews. Now They Feel Betrayed. In 2015, Spain said it would give citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled during the Spanish Inquisition. Then rejections started pouring in this summer.
|The former Jewish quarter of Segovia, Spain. The country was once home to one|
of Europe’s most thriving Jewish communities, which for centuries produced major
poets, historians and philosophers. Emilio Parra Doiztua for The New York Times
MADRID — María Sánchez, a retired mental health therapist in Albuquerque, spent the past four decades tracing her Jewish ancestry from Spain. She created a vast genealogical chart going back nearly 1,100 years, which included three ancestors who were tried in the Spanish Inquisition. Her findings even led her to join a synagogue in the 1980s and to become a practicing Jew.
So when Spain’s government said in 2015 that it would grant citizenship to people of Sephardic Jewish descent — a program publicized as reparations for the expulsion of Jews that began in 1492 — Ms. Sánchez applied. She hired an immigration lawyer, obtained a certificate from her synagogue and flew to Spain to present her genealogy chart to a notary.
Then, in May, she received a rejection letter.
“It felt like a punch in the gut,” said Ms. Sánchez, 60, who was told she had not proved that she was a Sephardic Jew. “You kicked my ancestors out, now you’re doing this again.”
Spain’s statistics and interviews with frustrated applicants reveal a wave of more than 3,000 rejections in recent months, raising questions about how serious the country is about its promise of reparations to correct one of the darkest chapters of its history, the Inquisition.
Before this year, only one person had been turned down, the government said. Some 34,000 have been accepted.
Tens of thousands of Inquisition survivor descendants are now being cynically rejected or even cruelly having their citizenship revoked, after investing years of time and money to comply with Spain’s rigorous application process.
The Spanish government’s illegal actions are a fresh insult to historical injury, especially for the Anusim (Crypto-Jews), those who are no longer Jewish on account of the forced conversion and centuries of persecution endured by their ancestors.
This is a matter of life and death for Venezuelan Sephardic refugees in Spain, who have already been threatened with deportation.
Join the ASF for a timely discussion with those directly involved and please add your name to our #SpainPromsies campaign demanding Spain’s government uphold the rule of law by honoring its promises to descendants of Inquisition survivors.
An integral partner of and based at New York’s Center for Jewish History, the American Sephardi Federation represents Greater Sephardic voices in Jewish communal and diplomatic affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.