Reburial of Over 90 Remains of Ancient Jewish Cemetery in Ávila, Spain


avila-spain-cemeteryFollowing intense intervention and co-operation between the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe (CPJCE), it’s American based partners Admas Kodesh, The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE), and in collaboration with local Spanish Government Authorities, the remains of over 90 Graves of Kedoshim, who were unfortunately exhumed during works in Ávila, were reburied on Sunday in Ávila.

The 90 graves were unearthed when the local Authorities started work on the construction of pipelines in the area, and only after they started exhuming the remains, the Archaeologists together with the Historical institutes who carried out intense research, found out that this was the remains of the 700 year old pre-expulsion cemetery. Ávila was an important old kehilla founded about 1000 years ago and under the Inquisition Jewish residents were burnt Al Kiddush Hashem.

The Or Hachayim Hakodosh had a famous great Talmid and nephew in Morocco called Rav Elozor D’Avilla.

Work was immediately stopped and the local Jewish Community in Madrid were informed and together with the CPJCE and Admas Kodesh collaborated with the Authorities to rebury all the remains into the original cemetery, and to seal off the area and have it officially recognised as the ancient Jewish cemetery.

The reburial was carried out by members of the Chevra Kadisha of Madrid, in co-operation with a team of experts from the London based CPJCE and New York based Admas Kodesh, with full Halachic guidance of the Rabbinical Board of the CPJCE, headed by Rabbi Elyakim Schlesinger-Dean of Yeshiva Horomo.

The ceremony and special prayers were led by Chief Rabbi of Madrid Rabbi Moshe Ben Dahan and the Madrid Chevra Kadisha, Rabbi Yeshaya Schlesinger & Rabbi Moshe Hershaft of the Rabbinical Board of the CPJCE and Rabbi Meir Zwiebel & Rabbi Hertzka Zwiebel of the Rabbinical board of Admas Kodesh & Rabbi Avrum Yechiel Lev President of Satmar Chevra Kadisha of London, UK

Rabbi Abraham Ginsberg-Executive Director of the CPJCE and Mr. Gershon Schlesinger-Executive Director of Admas Kodesh expressed their gratitude and thanks to the Administrative team of the FCJE for their assistance and help in resolving this case as quick as possible. They also added “that this once again shows the remarkable success of diplomacy and understanding between all parties concerned”.

In light of this unfortunate incident, the CPJCE and its American partner Admas Kodesh are once again intensifying its negotiations with the Spanish Government and regional authorities together with the FCJE to speed up legislation, which will protect the Jewish cemeteries in Spain.

{Dena Newscenter}