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Historic Spanish Synagogue Plans to Host Weddings

A Spanish political party reportedly has asked the regional government of Andalucia to authorize and encourage holding Jewish weddings in Cordoba’s historic synagogue.

According to a report in Diario Cordoba, a local daily, the request came last month from the center-right PP group in the state parliament of Andalucia in southern Spain. It was meant to help the region “fulfill its touristic potential,” Rosario Alarcon, a spokesperson for the party, is quoted as saying. He added the move would encourage a greater influx of Jewish tourists into the city.

According to Alarcon, “arrangements are not in place” to facilitate Jewish weddings in the synagogue. This and other difficulties mean the city’s tourism potential is not being fully exploited, he said.

As part of a wider plan to develop the tourist sector in Cordoba, the party called for additional state funds to regenerate tourism in the center of the city.

Built in 1315, the synagogue stands in the historic Jewish quarter of the city, once home to a substantial Jewish population before the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

In November, the Portuguese town of Trancoso, which once was heavily populated by Jews, invited the Israeli NGO Shavei Israel to run its new Jewish cultural center.

The Isaac Cardoso Center for Jewish Interpretation, which will be the first Jewish cultural and religious center of its kind in Portugal in more than 500 years, is expected to open in the coming weeks. The center, which will also house a synagogue, was dedicated in October and an agreement was signed between Shavei Israel and the Trancoso Municipality on Nov. 19, Michael Freund, the organization’s founder, said.

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