46 Facts About Sephardi Jews


In 2015, both Spain and Portugal passed laws allowing Sephardim who could prove their ancestral origins in those countries to apply for citizenship; the Spanish law that offered expedited citizenship to Sephardic Jews expired in 2019, but Portuguese citizenship is still available.

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Name Sephardi Jews means "Spanish" or "Hispanic", derived from Sepharad, a Biblical location.

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Ethnic Sephardic Jews have had a presence in North Africa and various parts of the Mediterranean and Western Asia due to their expulsion from Spain.

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Over half of Spain's Sephardi Jews had converted in the 14th century as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391.

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Indeed, a further number of those Sephardi Jews who had not yet joined the converso community finally chose to convert and avoid expulsion as a result of the edict.

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Sephardi Jews decided that the Jews who stayed accepted Catholicism by default, proclaiming them New Christians.

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Sephardi Jews encompass Jews descended from those Jews who left the Iberian Peninsula as Jews by the expiration of the respective decreed deadlines.

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Also included among Sephardi Jews are those who descend from "New Christian" conversos, but returned to Judaism after leaving Iberia, largely after reaching Southern and Western Europe.

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Sephardic Jews lived in Bulgaria, where they absorbed into their community the Romaniote Jews they found already living there.

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Several of the Moroccan Sephardi Jews emigrated back to the Iberian Peninsula to form the core of the Gibraltar Sephardi Jews.

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Sephardi Jews who had only recently reverted in Dutch Brazil then again had to flee to other Dutch-ruled colonies in the Americas, including joining brethren in Curacao, but migrating to New Amsterdam, in what is today New York.

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In several smaller towns Sephardi Jews composed majorities or pluralities, as the towns were founded or inhabited principally by Sephardi Jews.

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Over half of Spain's Sephardi Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391, and as such were not subject to the Decree or to expulsion.

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Spanish Sephardi Jews who chose to leave Spain instead of converting dispersed throughout the region of North Africa known as the Maghreb.

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Many Spanish Sephardi Jews fled to the Ottoman Empire where they had been given refuge.

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Some believe that Persian Jewry, as the only community of Jews living under the Shiites, probably suffered more than any Sephardic community .

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Many of these Sephardi Jews settled in other parts of the Balkans ruled by the Ottomans such as the areas that are now Bulgaria, Serbia, and Bosnia.

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Such figures exclude the significant number of Sephardi Jews who returned to Spain due to the hostile reception they received in their countries of refuge, notably Fez.

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In that context, Sephardi Jews were considered to be the descendants of Spanish Jews who were expelled or fled from the country five centuries ago following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

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The law defines Sephardic as Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula until their expulsion in the late fifteenth century, and their descendants.

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In yet another teaching, passed down later by Moses ben Machir in the 16th century, an explicit reference is made to the fact that Sephardi Jews have lived in Spain since the destruction of the First Temple:.

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Sephardi Jews says, furthermore, that the original name of the city was Pirisvalle, so-called by its early pagan inhabitants.

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Exactly how soon after this time Sephardi Jews made their way onto the scene in this context is a matter of speculation.

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Until the adoption of Christianity, Sephardi Jews had close relations with non-Jewish populations and played an active role in the social and economic life of the province.

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The edicts of the Synod of Elvira, provide evidence of Sephardi Jews who were integrated enough into the greater community to cause alarm among some.

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Canon 16, which prohibited the marriage of Christians with Sephardi Jews, was worded more strongly than canon 15, which prohibited marriage with pagans.

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Situation of the Sephardi Jews changed after the conversion of the Visigothic royal family under Recared from Arianism to Roman Catholicism in 587.

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Many Sephardi Jews came to Iberia, seen as a land of tolerance and opportunity, from the Christian and Muslim worlds.

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In translating the great works of Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek into Latin, Iberian Sephardi Jews were instrumental in bringing the fields of science and philosophy, which formed much of the basis of Renaissance learning, into the rest of Europe.

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Sephardi Jews was succeeded by his son Joseph ibn Naghrela who was slain by an incited mob along with most of the Jewish community.

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However, the Reconquista Sephardi Jews never reached the same heights as had those of the Golden Age.

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In 1497 the Decree ordering the expulsion or forced conversion of all the Jews was passed, and the Sephardim either fled or went into secrecy under the guise of "Cristaos Novos", i e New Christians .

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Sephardi Jews arriving in the Ottoman Empire were mostly resettled in and around Thessalonica and to some extent in Constantinople and Izmir.

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The most important synagogue, or Esnoga, as it is usually called amongst Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Jews, is the Amsterdam Esnoga—usually considered the "mother synagogue", and the historical center of the Amsterdam minhag.

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Largest part of Spanish Sephardi Jews expelled in 1492 fled to Portugal, where they eluded persecution for a few years.

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Later Sephardic Jews settled in many trade areas controlled by the Empire of Philip II and others.

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Sephardi Jews founded settlements with other conversos that would later become Monterrey.

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In particular, Sephardi Jews established relations between the Dutch and South America.

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About 600 Sephardi Jews left Amsterdam in 1642, accompanied by two distinguished scholars—Isaac Aboab da Fonseca and Moses Raphael de Aguilar.

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Sephardi Jews supported the Dutch in the struggle between the Netherlands and Portugal for possession of Brazil.

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Sephardi Jews were admitted as students at the university, where they studied medicine as the only branch of the science of practical use to them, for they were not permitted to practice law, and the oath they would be compelled to take excluded them from the professorships.

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Sephardi Jews explains that prior to expulsion Spanish Jewish communities did not have a shared identity in the sense that developed in diaspora.

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The 1654 Sephardi Jews who arrived in New Amsterdam fled from the colony of Recife, Brazil after the Portuguese seized it from the Dutch.

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Notable exception to the distinct Ashkenazi and Sephardi naming traditions is found among Dutch Jews, where Ashkenazim have for centuries followed the tradition otherwise attributed to Sephardim.

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In some instances, Sephardi Jews have joined Ashkenazi communities, and have intermarried.

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Sephardic Jews are closely genetically related to their Ashkenazi Jewish counterparts and studies have shown that they have mainly a mixed Middle Eastern and Southern European ancestry.

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