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October 16, 2013 By:
Spanish Jews Ask Catholics to Return Ancient Synagogue
SPAIN — Representatives of Spain’s Jewish communities attending a recent interfaith conference in Madrid asked Catholic Church officials to return a former synagogue in Toledo.
“What would be a better act of generosity and reconciliation than the return of the Grand Synagogue of Toledo to the Jewish people and particularly to the Jewish community of Spain, as a symbol of dialogue between Jews and Christians,” Isaac Querub, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, was reported saying during the 22nd meeting of the Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee.
The committee is a body set up by the Church in 1971 to serve as its official point of contact with worldwide Jewish communities.
The building, which is owned by the Spanish Catholic Church, “is not being used as a house of worship of any kind these days,” FCJE’s communications director, Maria Royo, said, noting that the federation has not received a response from the Church.
Originally known as the Ibn Shushan Synagogue, the 833-year-old building is one of Spain’s most popular museums. It drew some 300,000 visitors in a recent year, half of them being locals.