Explore the Ancient Jewish Community of Catalonia
What: The Jewish community in Spain enjoyed a “Golden Age,” until it ended in 1492 with the horrific Spanish Inquisition. On this trip to Barcelona and the surrounding areas, you will explore the ancient Jewish community of Catalonia, learn about its personalities, and interact with the new community that has arisen since the Spanish expulsion. The trip will combine culture, history, food, and all the excitement that Barcelona has to offer. Students will see the Modernista architecture that has made this city so famous, and art lovers will appreciate the city’s wealth of museums. Sports lovers will enjoy an insiders look of Camp Nou and being in the presence of the world’s greatest soccer team.
Why: While we usually don’t think in these terms, Spain represents an almost 500-year-old Holocaust. The Spanish Inquisition perpetuated a physical and spiritual annihilation of the Jews whose impact spans centuries. Consider the fact that Spain still has not formally apologized for what they did to the Jews. A once thriving center of Jewish life, the birthplace of the Rambam and other notable Jewish scholars, the impact of the exile and persecution of the Jews of Spain can still be felt today in Sephardi communities throughout the world.
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Today, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most exciting cities. From its wacky architecture to its vibrant sidewalks to great Rabbis and to great tragedies, the region of Catalonia is a great destination for learning about the Spanish Jewish community, which experienced both a Golden Age and a brutal inquisition.