Jews urged to return to Sardinia

Mayor of Italian town of Alghero issues official apology to Jews banished from island in 1492

The mayor of the Italian town of Alghero in northwestern Sardinia has signed a historical document of apology to Jews expelled from the island as part of the banishment from Spain.


The town has even inaugurated a main square called "the Square of the Jews," which is located where a synagogue used to stand.


The square was inaugurated last week following an initiative by Dr. Amira Meir, the wife of former Israel's Ambassador to Italy Gideon Meir. The two were present at the ceremony alongside the current Israeli Ambassador to Italy Naor Gilon.


The emotionally moving event, which was attended by hundreds of people, opened with the song "Avinu Malkeinu" performed by a local band.


The mayor then delivered a speech, saying he would like to rectify the injustice caused to the town's Jews in the past. He concluded by calling on Jews to return to Alghero. "Welcome home," he said.


Jews had lived in Sardinia since the first century, and many catacombs with Hebrew captions have been found in the area. One of them has the sign of the menorah on it. In the 14th and 15th centuries the town had a prospering Jewish community, which was banished in 1492.


"This is a historic and symbolic gesture," Ambassador Gilon said during the ceremony.


Menachem Gantz contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 09.30.13, 13:16
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