Spanish Jews Say 'Si' to Departing King Juan Carlos

Praise Monarch for Return of Democracy

getty images

By JTA

Published June 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Spain’s Jewish community lauded King Juan Carlos after he abdicated the throne in favor of his son Prince Felipe.

Juan Carlos on Monday made the surprise announcement that he would step down after nearly 40 years on the throne.

“Spanish Jews recognize, value and appreciate the personal role His Majesty ​​King Juan Carlos has played in the construction of the recent history of our country and his leadership in the consecration of the democratic values ​​enshrined in the Constitution of 1978 and, in particular, freedom of worship,” according to a statement released Monday by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, or FCJE.

The federation’s statement said the Jewish community “remembers with special affection” the king’s 1992 visit to Madrid’s Beth Yaacov synagogue, the first visit by the king to a synagogue in the country.

On the 500th anniversary of the May 31, 1492 signing by Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the edict ordering Spain’s 200,000 Jews to either convert to Catholicism or leave the country, Juan Carlos and his wife, Queen Sofia, visited the synagogue. The king paid tribute to the “strength of spirit” of Spanish Jews forced to leave because the state demanded “religious uniformity,” but did not directly apologize for the expulsion.

Juan Carlos visited Israel for the first time in 1993, where he addressed the Knesset.

“To the future King Don Felipe, the Jewish community wishes you long life and a reign of peace and prosperity for the benefit of Spain and the Spaniards,” the federation’s statement concluded.


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!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • 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.