Makom Sefarad is a cultural project dedicated to facilitating spaces of dialog and coexistence through activities and programs connected to the history and legacy of Jewish Spain.
Our activities and programs delve into the history of coexistence of the Spanish Jews alongside other peoples, and in the rich Sephardic tradition that resulted from their encounter with diversity, with the objective of identifying aspects of that tradition that might guide us as we face the challenges of life in a plural society today.
Makom Sefarad is an invitation to see opportunities for growth in encounters with difference, both as individuals and as a society.
To be a Point of Encounter
Makom means “place” in Hebrew. Makom Sefarad, therefore, signifies a place in Sefarad (Spain) to meet with the other, who may live, think, or be different from oneself.
In Makom, we facilitate encounters between:
People of different beliefs and cultural identities.
Jewish visitors and Jews living in Spain.
Diverse communities of Jewish Spaniards.
Makom means place. Interestingly it is also used as a name of God.
The Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 68:5) explains the insight behind this usage: He is the place of the world, and the world is not His place. God is not found in any particular location, rather, God is immanent in all places.
Makom Sefarad is a place where to encounter history but also a place where to have an experience of living Judaism today in Spain. Its educational and cultural activities are devoted to facilitate to visitors and locals a deep understanding of Spanish Jewish heritage. We welcome visitors to study with us and join us for Shabbat and holidays.
We believe that we cannot understand Spanish identity without understanding its Jewish heritage.
From all the different civilizations, cultures, identities and religions present in Spanish history, the one with the longest presence in time is Judaism. This also applies to Jewish identity today. The contribution to Judaism made by the Iberian Jewish community during its Golden Age either under Muslim or Christian rulers is very significant. Jewish identity would not be as rich and diverse as it is today without the philosophy, religious poetry, literature, liturgy and science developed by Jews in Spanish Middle Ages. It is also relevant that although life for religious minorities was sometimes very challenging, we cannot find in history a similar cultural exchange between Jewish, Christian and Muslim intellectuals. A better understanding of this heritage and of the coexistence of people of different faith can be an inspiration for us today.