B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith welcomes a new Spanish law that would allow descendants of Sephardic Jews to apply for citizenship.
This is an important gesture acknowledging not only the expulsion of Jews from 15th Century Spain, but also the importance of Jewish heritage to the country’s history.
In recent years, the Spanish foreign ministry has established Casa Sefarad to promote Sephardic Jewish culture worldwide. The organization describes itself as “a bridge between Spain and the Jewish world,” and has run important cross-cultural programs.
Citizenship will not be awarded automatically. Applicants will have to certify their Sephardic ancestry during the online application process, and will have to pass language and history proficiency tests. The law will allow applicants to retain their current country of citizenship.
We are pleased that Spain’s Jewish community will be involved in the process of vetting applications, as their participation can be helpful in optimizing the law’s implementation.
Click here to read B’nai B’rith’s analysis of this topic from May:
Click here to read “The Jews of Spain” from the winter 2014 issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine: http://www.bnaibrith.org/magazine-articles/the-jews-of-spain-once-many-now-few-and-under-the-radar
Winter 2014 Issue Also Highlights the Jews of Spain and the Kosher Food Boom
In the face of seemingly endless conflict, Israeli hospitals continue to provide Syrian and Palestinian patients with high-quality, low-cost medical care. Writer Michele Chabin speaks with many of the medical professionals and patients. She reports that the patients, many of them children, receive high-quality, affordable care.
The Israeli institutions do this as an expression of “tikkun olam”—the Jewish commitment to repair the world. Medical personnel treat many patients with life-threatening conditions, transcending politics and national boundaries.
Elsewhere in the issue, writer Miranda Spivack explores why Spain has been largely immune to the anti-Semitic incidents and anti-Israel protests that spread across Europe this year. There is even talk of granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews who can prove ancestral links to Spain, thereby recognizing and making amends for its historic persecution dating back to the Inquisition and expulsion order of 1492.
The kosher food business in the United States—valued at more than $12.5 billion annually—is booming, according to writer Uriel Heilman, who reports that most of the customers for kosher food today are non-Jews looking for healthier, higher quality products.
B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs devotes his column to Chanukah’s rich history and reviews the many accomplishments of B’nai B’rith this calendar year.
In his regular column, B’nai B’rith Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin discusses B’nai B’rith’s recent Policy Forum in Panama and the organization’s fight against anti-Semitism in Latin America.
Rachel Goldberg, B’nai B’rith’s director of aging policy, in her “About Seniors” section advises readers on how to prepare financially for retirement and discusses the growing issue of a retirement deficit.
All this and more can be found in the current issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine.
And for exclusive digital content, visit the magazine website: www.bnaibrith.org/magazines