The profound story of Jewish Spain is a tumultuous one with ample amounts of progress, achievement and suffering. In fact the word Sefarad originally meant Spain. Until 1492 Spain had one of the world’s largest and most prosperous Jewish communities. Could it be that Spain’s inability to manage their rapid colonial infusion of wealth was related to the brain drain of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain?
It is known that before the expulsion many Sephardic Jews had served the different Spanish Catholic kingdoms of Castile, Navarra, Aragon and Leon as savvy advisors, tax collectors and as bankers.
Spanish cities with important Sephardic Heritage like Cordoba, Caceres, Girona, Seville, Hervas, Ribadavia, Segovia, Toledo and Tudela are part of a cultural and historic preservation network called the Sephardic Way. Other cities in Spain with important Jewish Heritage include Seville, Malaga and Granada although there little visible of the Jewish quarters in the last two cities.
The current Sephardic Jews, who are the descendants of Jews who left Spain and Portugal instead of converting, still make up an important part of the world Jewish population. Our Jewish Heritage program can be tailored to your dates and needs. Today there are active Jewish communities in Madrid and Barcelona among other places in Spain. On flexible private touring, enjoy Sephardic and UNESCO listed sites in and around Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, luxury hotels, chauffeured transfers and top bilingual guides.
P.S. A few of the common surnames for Sephardic Jews from Spain or Portugal were: