Friday, September 23, 2005

New book records 300 years of Gibraltar’s Jews

An authoritative and colourful account of the three hundred years of the Jewish community in Gibraltar has been published in a special edition of the Gibraltar Heritage Journal.

The book was funded by SM Seruya and edited by Isaac Hassan with Tito Benady.

Sol Seruya presented the book to Heritage Trust chairman Joe Ballentine at an informal presentation at the new Guard House premises off the Piazza where the trust is now based.

Mr Seruya said that he had felt a need to have some account written of the Jewish presence on the Rock and paid tribute to the “beautiful” fact that Jews feel an integral part of Gibraltarian life and that all faits accept each other here.

Mr Seruya also expressed an historical gratitude to Britain for having allowed the Jews to live in Gibraltar and protecting their human rights.

But he also noted that although Spain had expelled the Serphardic jews in 1492 the Jewish community had nonetheless not borne a grudge against Spain and had produced some artists and scholars who had links with Spanish academic and cultural life.

A Survey of the Synagogues is also being produced but, although ready, it is awaiting funding for publication.

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