Sephardic Heritage2018-11-28T06:56:36+00:00

Sephardic Heritage

Cultural Travel Experiences

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These are just some of the very special destinations available in Spain. Portugal and Morocco.
There are endless combinations and possibilities to crafting your own Sephardic Heritage route – let Spain Savvy help you figure out which ones are the right fit for you and your family, group, etc.
Contact us today to get to work on your very own custom itinerary.
Our Sephardic Heritage programs are run in conjunction with BE SEPHARAD, dedicated to preserving the Sephardic legacy in Seville and the surrounding areas.
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RECOMMENDED ITINERARIES

Sepharad: A Paradise Lost and Found (Seville, Córdoba, Úbeda and Lucena)

  • Feel the presence of the millennial Jewish history on the streets of what was and is the home of the Judeo-Spanish and Sephardic people.
  • Walk through history in some of the most important Andalusian Jewish and Christian quarters from medieval times, where the scholars radiated the light of their knowledge through science, philosophy, spirituality, poetry and more, bridging the Eastern and Western worlds.
  • Enjoy the beauty and magic of their streets and enjoy their culture: music, gastronomy, customs that formed a part of diverse religions and people – Jews, Muslims and Christians – coexisting and enriching their legacy.

Sepharad and the Sephardic Diaspora: Morocco 

  • Homes left behind: Córdoba and Seville, and passageways of hope and refuge discovered: Tarifa, Tangier, Tetuán and Chefchaouen
  • Feel the presence of the millennial Jewish history on the streets of what was and is the home of the Judeo-Spanish and Sephardic people.
  • Follow the paths of the Sephardic Jews to exotic places of great beauty and mystery.
  • Live the culture that they kept alive as the love for the abandoned homeland, and melding it with the indigenous culture of the legendary country of Morocco, becoming a great refuge for the Sephardic and propagating values of coexistence and popular culture.

Sepharad: Spain & Portugal

Sefarad is the name given by the Ancient Hebrews to the Iberian Peninsula

Seville, Córdoba, Toledo, Lisbon

  • Sites of great beauty and charm, and the cradle of important and brilliant Jewish quarters that fought tirelessly to survive, with their resident Jews and “cryptoJews” (also known as marranos), sharing the same fate.
  • Lose yourself in the streets of these charming city centers, feeling the weight of the very history that has transformed them into today’s vibrant present-day culture, and enjoy the cities’ gastronomy, music and people.
  • Visit these wonderful cities with great personality, all due to their poignant history and enriched by the diversity of their mixed cultures.

Toledo: A Footprint of Medieval Judaism

Rightly regarded as a true «city within a city», the madinat al-Yahud, or city of the Jews, constitutes a broad urban space which occupies almost ten per cent of walled Toledo. Divided, in turn, into different districts which correspond to the different stages of its expansion, the Jewish quarter of Toledo is an intricate maze that contains a real overview of what the Jews of Toledo were like and how they lived for at least eleven centuries.

According to a Jewish tradition dating from the period of Muslim rule, the Jewish settlement in Toledo was the most ancient in the Iberian Peninsula. This tradition was accepted by Isaac Abrabanel who states that the first settlers in Toledo were exiles from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Jews probably established themselves there when the town became the capital of the Visigoths, or during the fourth to fifth centuries.

Toledo is one of the few towns of Spain where remnants of Jewish edifices have been well preserved.  Toledo also has many remnants of Jewish tombstones, some of which are preserved in the archaeological museum of the town.

During the 11th century, when Toledo was ruled by the Muslims, it had a large Jewish population of about 4,000.  Jewish occupations in Toledo included textile manufacture, tanning, and dyeing, military professions and commerce. Toledo became a center of Jewish scholarship, translation, and science; the astronomer Zarkal (Abu Ishaq Ibrahim Ben Yachya) lived there for a time in the mid-11th century, and the biblical commentator Judah Ben Samuel Ibn Bal’am was born and educated in Toledo in this period. The situation of the Jews in Toledo remained unchanged after the town was conquered by Alfonso VI in 1085. During the 12th century it continued a center of learning and Jews and apostates were among those who translated works of mathematics, astronomy, and other subjects from Arabic into the spoken vernacular and from that language into Latin. From then on, the community developed until it became the most prominent in the kingdom of Castile and one of the most important in Spain. During this period some of the most distinguished who apparently left the town in 1119; Moses Ibn Ezra who stayed there; and Joseph Ibn Kamaniel, the physician, one of the wealthiest members of the community who was entrusted with an important diplomatic mission to the king of Portugal. The language spoken by the Jews of Toledo and employed in their documents during the 11th to 13th centuries was partly Arabic; they customarily wrote their documents in Arabic with Hebrew characters. These sources reveal a well-developed economic life. Jews of Toledo are recorded as having sold or purchased land, as lenders and borrowers, and are also found in partnerships with Christians in real estate transactions and in commerce.

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