Israel Friends of Beit Hatfutsot Visit Spain
The Israel Friends of Beit Hatfutsot—comprised of both members and significant supporters of the Museum —strive to form relationships and raise funds to promote the cultural, educational and communal projects of Beit Hatfutsot. To this end, the IFBH embarked on its second annual organized tour of a Jewish community, this year visiting Madrid and Toledo in Spain.
In addition to being a prestigious and valuable Jewish community—rich in history and heritage—this destination was chosen to celebrate the fact that 2016 marks 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain.
Under the leadership of Irit Admoni Perlman, Director of Israel Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, and Enia Zeevi Kupfer, Director of the European Desk, the group included leading Israeli businesspeople, chairperson of the Austrian Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, and representatives from the American Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and other supporters.
All in all 20 participants enjoyed a long weekend organized by IFBH in the wake of the Spanish government’s declaration that it will grant citizenship to descendants of Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. The tour included sightseeing and cultural excursions but also two unique events. The first took place at the Ibn Gabirol School in Madrid, which takes part in Beit Hatfutsot’s leading global educational program, “My Family Story.” Students and teachers alike shared their experiences with the group in an encounter that was both emotional and inspiring. The second event was a festive cocktail party at Center Sefarad Israel attended by H.E. Daniel Kutner, Israel Ambassador to Spain; Isaac Querub, President of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Spain; David Hatchwell, President of the Jewish Community in Madrid; and Miguel De Lucas, CEO of the Center Sefarad Israel. The guest of honor was Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Spain’s former Minister of Justice and a leading proponent of the restoration of Spanish nationality to descendants of the Spanish Expulsion. Minister Ruiz-Gallardón is also head of the committee for establishing the Spanish Jewish History Museum.
Hana Pri-zan, representing the Israel Friends of Beit Hatfutsot, took this opportunity to present the renewal plans for Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People to the esteemed guests. She also expressed her hope that this visit would lead to the establishment of a Spanish chapter of IFBH and added that “we look forward to continuing to develop the collaboration between the Spanish community and Beit Hatfutsot.”