The European Day of Jewish Culture is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to mark this event it has organised various activities, which will take place throughout the month of September, that will cover topics from its 20 years of history.
The programme has been coordinated by the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ) with the collaboration of the National Library of Israel, and will be developed in the 22 cities that make up the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters: Ávila, Barcelona, Béjar, Cáceres, Calahorra, Córdoba, Estella-Lizarra, Hervás, Jaen, León, Lorca, Lucena, Monforte de Lemos, Oviedo, Plasencia, Ribadavía, Sagunto, Segovia, Tarazona, Toledo, Tudela and Tui.
Municipalities which have an architectural, historical and cultural heritage inherited from the Jewish communities that once inhabited them. Some of these neighbourhoods are internationally recognised, such as Cordoba or Toledo. Others are not so well known, but have a wealth of incredible heritage.
This town in Cordoba, known as La Perla de Sefarad, was founded in the 8th century by Jewish communities and its old town is practically carved in the Hebrew tradition. At that time it housed within its walls the Academy of Talmudic Studies, a meeting point for the great intellectuals, philosophers, poets and doctors of the time.
Several cultural activities have been planned, such as the concert by the choir Elí Hoshaná Ciudad de Lucena, the exhibition The Jewish History of Andalusia and a recital of medieval Jewish poetry and music to mark the Jewish New Year ‘Rosh Hashaná’.
On 8 September, a special meeting will be held at the ‘Medieval Market of the Three Cultures’, with a guided tour of the Jewish Quarter that will reach the old Tanneries of the Arrabal de San Segundo. This architectural legacy, which has recently been rehabilitated, is made up of a group of domestic buildings from the 16th century dedicated to leather tanning and dyeing in the vicinity of the River Adaja.
Another city with an incredible history, through which a multitude of cultures have passed, including the Jewish culture from which there is evidence since 1215. Located in the southern part of the old city, the Jewish quarter of Segovia has correctly preserved synagogues, palaces, museums and various other buildings.
A complete programme has been organised with guided tours, music in the streets, craft workshops for children, book presentations and traditional Hebrew music concerts.
This small town in Cáceres has a Jewish quarter with steep and narrow streets, adobe houses with chestnut wood frameworks. The palace of the Dávila stands out, an 18th century mansion that today houses a museum and a public library. It also has several older churches and convents that were initially designed by Jewish architects and craftsmen.
For the European Day of Jewish Culture, Hervás has scheduled two events for September 8: the planting of an olive tree, with a commemorative plaque, and a concert of Sephardic fusion music by Mosafires Live.
The Jews arrived in this Navarrese municipality shortly after it was founded by the Muslims in the eighth century, and settled in the southeast sector of the walled enclosure, in an area that is now recovered and marked with tiles. It is also where a necropolis was discovered near Torre Monreal, one of the main tourist attractions of the city.
Many important pieces have been recovered from this old cemetery and are now on display in the Museum of Tudela. In fact, many of the activities proposed for the 20th anniversary of the European Day of Jewish Culture revolve around archaeology, with guided tours and conferences related to the excavation undertaken at the necropolis.