Prof. Jesus Jambrina of Viterbo University, Wisconsin,.
(photo credit: COURTESY CONCHA JAMBRINA)
Dr. Abraham Haim, president of the centuries-old Council of Sephardi and Oriental Communities of Jerusalem traveled last month to Wisconsin to officially present the medal of his organization to Prof. Jesus Jambrina.
Jambrina was awarded the Medal of the Four Sephardi Synagogues for his achievements of in the recognition, signposting and preservation of the Medieval Jewish quarters of the city of Zamora, Spain. It also recognized his work as “organizer of two outstanding international conferences,” in Zamora and Portugal in 2013 and 2014, which for the first time brought together a team of researchers to expose the forgotten Jewish history of the area.
Jambrina also founded the Isaac Campanton Center for further study in the area which is home to a large number of descendants of anusim who are searching for, or at least curious about their Jewish identity.
The official presentation ceremony took place at Viterbo Univeristy, La Crosse, WI, on March 25, with university president Rick Artman introducing Haim to an audience comprised of faculty, students, members of the city of La Crosse community and representatives of the local Jewish community. The award was unofficially granted in October 2014
Haim presented a brief history of the Four Sephardi Synagogues of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter, and of the Council of the Sephardi and Oriental Community of Jerusalem before officially presenting the Medal to Jambrina, who thanked the Council, the university, his colleagues and those in Zamora, Spain, “who have supported my research and the recuperation of the Medieval Jewish Quarters in the city of Zamora.”
Haim then spent three days on campus where he was scheduled to talk to students and faculty about Sephardic history and culture and to participate in a “Teaching the Holocaust” workshop, in which he gave a presentation on how this historical event is taught in Jerusalem's schools. In 2014, Haim presented the medal to the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos, in recognition of the bill passed recently, granting Spanish citizenship to Sephardi Jews.