Jewish Barcelona:

now you see it, now you don't



Sunday, January 17

USA (10:30 am Pacific Time Zone / 1:30 pm Eastern Time Zone)

UK 6:30 pm / France 7:30 pm / Israel 8:30 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula can be traced back to between the first centuries of the Common Era until the end of the 15th century, though this varies depending on the region and even the city. In the case of Catalonia, the region of which Barcelona is the capital, we can talk about the presence of a community from the mid 9th until the end of the 14th century. After 400/500 hundred years, most of the buildings "from the Middle Ages" in Spain are reconstructed or built over.

What are the hints to find Jewish presence in the urban environment, in the religious art pieces, in the archives? Are there any artifacts from those days? Where are they kept?
The early 20th century marks the beginning of a second chapter of Jewish life which we hope will not be interrupted.

Focusing on Barcelona, we will learn about the irregular evolution of the community, the second largest in Spain, with approximately 5000 members today. And we will discover how Jews contributed to some of the "most Spanish" creations.

And, very importantly, how do we connect with our past? Which are our places of memory today? Taking as an example the ancient Jewish cemetery, we will refer to the challenge of heritage management, where religion and science have not yet come to terms.

About Dominique

Born in New York and raised in Buenos Aires, Dominique Tomasov is the grandchild of Jews from Belarus and Ukraine. She obtained her Architecture degree at the University in Buenos Aires and she is also registered in New York and Barcelona. A founding member of the first egalitarian synagogue in Spain, she is responsible for its Chevra Kadisha. She specializes in Jewish heritage as an independent researcher, educator and activist.

She co-founded The Center of Studies Zakhor, established to
protect the ancient Jewish cemetery in Barcelona. Thanks to
the Center's actions, the site received official designation as a
historical landmark. Other projects include research to define its extension (with a grant from The Rothschild Foundation) and the publication of the book "Funerary traditions in Judaism".
Since arriving in Spain, Dominique believes that the Jewish narrative has to go out on the streets, and her first ground breaking guided walk was in 1999. Since then, sh e has has developed expertise in explaining to the general society about Jewish identity, and to international Jewish visitors about local Jewish culture and history. This is her contribution to the construction of a pluralistic society. After living and working in three countries, she brings together a special combination of history, current affairs, opinions and personal experience.

10% of the profits will be donated to Masorti Congregation ATID, the first egalitarian congregation in Spain since 1992. Their diversity reflects in a welcoming, respectful and dynamic atmosphere.

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