And I pronounce you Spanish

Spain’s ‘Nationality Law’ granted citizenship to thousands of Jews expelled during the 15th century and continues to awaken the country’s rich Jewish history.

By
October 22, 2015 16:57
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon

Former Spanish justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon is the man behind the measure to offer nationality to Sephardim. (photo credit: Courtesy)

In one fell swoop, by royal decree, 4,302 Jews received Spanish citizenship on October 1. Hailing mainly from Turkey, Venezuela and Morocco, these Sephardim had already submitted their applications before the “Nationality Law,” an amendment to Article 23 of the Spanish Civil Code Law came into effect, unanimously approved by the nation’s senate on June 24. This was an unexpected twist in the tale, as it was thought that the process would take much longer. Nevertheless, even though these candidates have officially been accepted, in some cases there is still paperwork to be completed, as well as background checks to ensure they have no criminal record.

The reaction of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain to the final enactment of the nationality law was joy. In an official statement, the FCJE thanked the Spanish government and said “this royal decree is a response to the desire of many Sephardim, descendants of the Jews who were expelled in 1492, and scattered across the world, to recover their connection with Spain.”

Black pages in history


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