Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | 2:00 PM
More than a year ago, I spoke at a literary festival in Segovia, a charming, historic city located north of Madrid and was surprised to see many signs pointing to a "Jewish neighborhood," complete with a cemetery, former shops and restored synagogue-turned-museum. This was strong evidence of how, under democracy, Spain is doing much to rediscover its long neglected Jewish past.
Today, in a ceremony at Madrid's sparkling new Centro Sefarad-Israel, we are partnering with Red de Juderías de España,the Network of Jewish neighborhoods, a non-profit association founded in 1995, to bring online the Jewish heritage of 24 Spanish cities, from Avila to Tudela. The project, stemming from the inspiration in Segovia, is called Caminos de Sefarad - Spain's Jewish Streets. By clicking to the group’s website, users from all over the world may visit and tour the cities discover Spain’s Jewish past.
Red de Juderías has implemented Google Maps technology so that people can explore the main landmarks online. Clicking on a landmark reveals historical information about each site - and enables a 360º view of the different locations, thanks to Google’s Street View technology. An intuitive search panel presents Jewish heritage sites by category, type, geographic zone and date. In total, 523 sites, 910 dates, and 1,667 pictures are displayed.
We hope this new project will inspire you to learn more about Spain’s Jewish history, and perhaps to visit these cities in person.