Spain’s Toledo starts advanced Jewish history class for tour guides

(JTA) – The Spanish city of Toledo launched an advanced studies of Spanish Jewry course for 50 tour guides.

The program, the city’s first initiative of its kind, began last week and will offer two weekly classes until February, Silvia Gonzalez Plaza of the Toledo Municipal Tourist Office told JTA.

Titled “The Toledo Master Program on Jewish History,” the course teaches about the city’s prominent Jewish families prior to their mass deportation after the 15th century Spanish Inquisition.

In 1391, there were five Talmudic schools and 10 synagogues in Toledo — once home to one of the Iberian Peninsula’s largest Jewish populations. Today, fewer than 100 Jews live in Toledo.

“The idea is to offer more courses in the future to really strengthen the tourist guides’ knowledge base,” Plaza told JTA.

The courses were initiated by the Sephardic Museum and the municipality of Toledo. The museum director, Santiago Dovecote, told the news site ABC.es that the course will shed new light on the expulsion of Jews in 1492 and the process of “Christianization” in cities like Toledo.

Spain boasts a network of nearly two dozen cities and towns, known as Red de Juderias, aimed at preserving its Jewish cultural history in an effort to attract tourists.

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