Spanish Jews welcome village’s decision to drop ‘kill Jews’ from name

(JTA) — The federation of Spanish Jewish communities welcomed the decision to remove the words “kill Jews” from the name of a small village in northern Spain.

The statement Monday by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, or FCJE, came after a majority a day earlier at a town hall meeting in favor of changing the village’s name, Castrillo Matajudios, to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means “Castrillo Jews’ hill.”

The decision corresponds with “the municipality’s desire to remain faithful to the true history of the village, whose name became Matajudios because of an error in translation and not because of any bias against Jews,” the statement read.

Spanish media reported last month that Lorenzo Rodriguez, the mayor of Castrillo Matajudios, near Leon, was urging residents to agree to the name change. He said Castrillo Mota de Judios was the original name but was changed during or near the Spanish Inquisition of 1492.

In parts of Spain, and especially in the North, locals use the term “killing Jews” (matar Judios) to describe the traditional drinking of lemonade spiked with alcohol at festivals held in city squares at Easter, or drinking in general.

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