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Spanish Jews Convene in Toledo Synagogue; First Time Since 1492

For the first time since King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle expelled the Jews from Spain, in 1492 Spanish Jews assembled openly in a synagogue in Toledo yesterday. The Samuel Levy Synagogue, in Toledo, where the meeting was held, is not used for religious services which are permitted in Spain, under a 1945 “statement of tolerance,” only in unmarked buildings. Max Mazin, president of the 2,500-member Madrid Jewish community, said it had been decided to arrange a meeting in connection with the visit to Spain of Philip E. Hoffman, chairman of the board of governors of the American Jewish Committee, and the Toledo synagogue was chosen as the site for the occasion.

Some 200 persons, including five priests and two Capuchin monks, were among the guests who heard the provincial governor, Enrique Thomas de Carranza, discuss the glories of ancient Jewish history in Toledo and the city’s tolerance for non-Catholic faiths. His appearance was believed to be the first by a ranking Spanish Government official at a Jewish ceremony.

Mr. Hoffman, who is on a tour of Western Europe, during which he has examined Christian-Jewish relations following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, was one of the speakers. He met today with Friga Iribarna, the Madrid Government’s Minister of Information.

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