Spanish Towns Plan 'Wedding' for Sukkot

Festival Will Mark Lost Jewish Heritage

Lost Quarter: Man walks through the Jewish quarter in Mallorca. Two Spanish towns are holding a mock wedding to recall their Jewish heritage.
Getty images
Lost Quarter: Man walks through the Jewish quarter in Mallorca. Two Spanish towns are holding a mock wedding to recall their Jewish heritage.

By JTA

Published August 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Two Spanish towns are preparing a Judaica festival featuring a mock wedding to celebrate their lost Jewish heritage.

The event, co-organized by non-Jews from San Juan and Rio Jerte in the province Extremadura in northwestern Spain, will also include a Judaica market and songs on Sept. 28-29, according festival coordinator Antonio Gil.

“This is a local event for the local population so that people who live here know that part of our history,” he told JTA. Gil added that the idea for the festival came last year from Maria Dolores Marin of San Juan and is not geared toward attracting tourists.

In planning the event, Gil and Marin consulted Avigail Cohen Komer, an Israeli Jew who owns a shop in the nearby village of Hervas, where a Jewish festival is held every year.

Northern Spain used to have a population of hundreds of thousands of Jews before the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1492 and which drove countless Jews into exile. Others were forcefully converted to Christianity, though for decades many of the converted continued to practice Judaism in secret.

In recent years, municipalities across Portugal and Spain have been spending millions of dollars renovating Jewish heritage sites. Gil said the festival’s organizers will decorate some homes that used to belong to Jews.

The municipality of Zamora, some 130 miles north of the two towns, also announced its own Jewish project earlier this month, in which it will post plaques near its places of Jewish historical interest, according to the daily La Opinion-El Correo de Zamora.

Zamora’s head of economic development, trade and tourism, Francisco Javier Gonzalez, told El Correo that the city has “a historic debt” to its Sephardic ancestors, who were forced to leave the Zamora and Castile and Leon.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.